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GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



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BLUXDELL'S 


WORTHIES 




BY 

M. L. BANKS, M. A. 

LATE ASSISTANT MASTER AT BLUNDELL's SCHOOL 


LONDON 2 EXETER 
CHATTO & WINDUS ^ JAMES G. COMMIN 

1904 



Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty 



o 
^ 






I 

1 




TO 

AUGUSTUS LAWRENCE FRANCIS 

HEADMASTER OF BLUNDELl's SCHOOL 

IN MEMORY OF MANY HAPPY YEARS 

I DEDICATE THIS VOLUME 



PREFACE 

WITH the approach of the tercentenary of Blundell's 
School it was suggested that the Lives of certain 
Worthies collected in a volume would prove of 
more than local interest. The work grew under my hands. 
And then misgivings arose. I remembered a saying of Ruskin 
to the effect that the gathering of one man's work into a mass 
enforces his failings in sickening reiteration, while it levels his 
merits (if any) in monotony. But the idea was not to be 
dropped ; variety was gained by enlisting the kind and ready 
help of a few friends ; subjects were assigned to them on 
which each could be trusted to write with special interest and 
authority, and to all of them I tender my most sincere thanks. 

♦ Your promises were like Adonis' gardens, 
That one day bloomed, and fruitful were the next.' 

There are many names whose connection with Blundell's 
rests on rumour, or legend ; the Impeys, for instance, and 
Admiral Sir Richard Goodwin Keats, a son of the irascible 
pedagogue of that name. Down to the middle of the last 
century there had floated a story that Sir Richard was a home 
boarder in his father's house ; unluckily, facts were too strong 
for this theory, as the boy was already at sea when Dr. Keats 
came to Tiverton. 

vii 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

It is clear that from the first Blundell's attracted cadets 
of the best families in the West, many of them men who 
helped to make English history in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. If only the School Register had not 
been lost, or, as some think, had been regularly kept ! But it is 
still possible to note how loyal certain families have been to 
their old school ; the Beres, for example. Peter Blundell 
included in the list of his trustees ' Charles Bere Esquier,' and 
the name occurs again and again, while more than a dozen 
members of the family have passed through the school since 
Benjamin Incledon revived the register a hundred and thirty- 
four years ago. The Roll of Exeter College, Oxford, tells the 
same tale, as witness the Southcombs of Rose Ash ; but the 
Newte and Wells families in this volume must suffice to 
illustrate the point. 

The work has entailed a good deal of research, and in this 
connection I owe a debt of gratitude to members of the Saint- 
hill, Colby, Dunsford, and Duckworth families for their 
courtesy in placing at my disposal letters, family papers, and 
privately printed memoirs. The Right Hon. Sir G. O. 
Trevelyan kindly read over my sketch of his father, and gave 
me at the same time some valuable suggestions. Although I 
am responsible for the work as a whole, it was obviously best to 
let each writer tell his story in his own way. Like Montaigne, 
I hold that meticulous methods of editing affect but little the 
value of a book : ' Good reader, blame not me, for those that 
passe here, either by the fantazie or unwarinesse of others : for 
every hand, each workeman, brings his owne unto them. I 
neither meddle with orthographie (and would only have them 
viii 



PREFACE 

follow the ancient) nor with curious pointing, I have small 
experience in either.' 

Sometimes in my work when turning over the pages of a 
faded diary or volume heavy with the dust of years, I have 
come across a chance word, or phrase, it may be, that reveals 
as in a flash the feelings and affections which these men of old, 
for all their seeming aloofness, had in common with the boys 
of to-day. It was like a voice calling down the ages. ' I, too, 
was a Blundellian, your hopes and fears were once mine, you are 
my schoolfellows.' For boys and masters come and go, fashions 
in work and play alter with the times, but the School itself 
remains the same, as the river is changeless, though its waters 
ceaselessly flow. 

I remember on the night of the first Jubilee, in 1887, 
watching from the top of the Worcestershire Beacon how, 
at our signal, answering fires arose. From hill to hill bright 
points of flame shot up in the darkness, till far away to 
the south we marked the Mendips, and to the north, still 
fainter, the Wrekin's crest of light. Those beacon fires seemed 
to speak of unity and solidarity ; and this is just the thought 
that arises now at the Jubilee of Blundell's. These Worthies, 
whose lives we value as a priceless heritage, are, surely, the 
beacon lights that stand out through the darkness of three 
centuries. May they help us to realise the unity and solidarity 
of a historic school. 

M. L. BANKS. 

Malvern, May 1904. 



IX 



THE CITIZEN AND THE TRAVELLER 

* Look round you,' said the citizen, ' this is the largest 
market in the world.' 

* Oh, surely not,' said the traveller. 

' Well, perhaps not the largest,' said the citizen, ' but 
much the best.' 

' You are certainly wrong there,' said the traveller, ' I 
can tell you . . .' 

They buried the stranger at the dusk. 

R. L. Stevenson. 



XI 



CONTENTS 



SIR JOHN POPHAM. By Arthur Fisher, 
PETER SAINTHILL. By M. L. Banks, 
THE NEWTES. By Arthur Fisher, 
GEORGE BULL. By H. J. Carpenter, 
SAMUEL WESLEY. By M. L. Banks, 
JOHN CONYBEARE. By M. L. Banks, 
BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW. By S. D. 
THOMAS HAYTER. By M. L. Banks, 
THOMAS WOOD. By M. L. Banks, 
RICHARD BEADON. By L. T. Rendell, 
MARTIN DUNSFORD. By M. L. Banks, 
JOHN EVELEIGH. By L. T. Rendell, 
JOHN DAVEY. By L. T. Rendell, . 
THOMAS COLBY. By M. L. Banks, 
JOHN RUSSELL. By F. J. Snell, . 
FRANCIS FULFORD. By M. L. Banks, 
THE CHESNEYS. By Goodenough Taylor, 
ABRAHAM HAYWARD. By M. L. Banks, 





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84 


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102 


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119 


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129 


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s. 


140 



Xlll 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

PAGE 

JAMES AMIRAUX JEREMIE. By M. L. Banks, . .150 

RICHARD DODDRIDGE BLACKMORE. By F. J. Snell, 153 
SIR CHARLES EDWARD TREVELYAN. By M. L. Banks, 161 



FREDERICK TEMPLE. By A. L. Francis, 
ROBERT DUCKWORTH. By M. L. Banks, 
THE WELLS FAMILY. By L. B. Wells, 
THOMAS UTTERMORE CROSS. By L. Mackenzie, 
INDEX 



169 

195 
201 

2C8 

217 



XIV 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



PETER BLUNDELL, 

SIR JOHN POPHAM, 

ROBERT NEWTE, . 

BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW, 

MARTIN DUNSFORD, 

THE CHESNEY MEDAL, . 

THE BLACKMORE MEMORIAL 
CATHEDRAL, . 

FREDERICK TEMPLE, 

FACSIMILE LETTER, 

THOMAS UTTERMORE CROSS, 



IN EXETER 



Frontispiece 
To face page i 
.» ». 23 
» » 57 
» » 89 
,. „ 132 



>» »» 



„ 208 



XV 



SIR JOHN POPHAM 

AMONG the many pictures in the Big School there hangs 
one without a name in the centre of the long wall, 
hard by the somewhat mythical portrait of our 
Founder. It is that of a Lord Chief-Justice of England in 
his robes of scarlet and ermine, and S.S. collar, but with 
rufF and cap of Elizabethan cut. It hangs just over that 
of another Lord Chief-Justice (Coleridge), one of our 
late Governors, whose seat our Elizabethan occupied three 
centuries earlier. 

It is the portrait of a man bad to quarrel with, strong to 
act, determined of purpose, with a heavy jaw, firm lips, and 
prominent nose — a ' dour ' face, as the Scotch have it, the 
face a man wanted who would play a part in those spacious 
times. Aubrey called him in his Wiltshire tongue * a hudge, 
heavy, ugly man ' ; yet he helped to make the history of two 
reigns, at the most critical period of our national life. It 
suffices to name some of his offices to guess the part he played : 
Treasurer of the Middle Temple, Member of Parliament for 
and Recorder of Bristol, Privy Councillor, Solicitor and 
Attorney General, Speaker of the House of Commons, and 
Lord Chief-Justice of England. 

But for us at Blundell's he has a claim on our memory 
beyond all these, for he was in the life of our Founder his 
trusted adviser and friend, and after his death the builder of 
his School. He set Blundell's on its way of three centuries 
of prosperity and success, and we owe much to his guiding 
hand. Not only first in time, therefore, but first in rank, we 
place him among Blundell's Worthies. 

He was born about 1531, at Huntworth in Somerset, and 

A I 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

when at home lived close by, at Wellington, the greater part 
of his life. He was therefore a near neighbour of Peter Blun- 
dell's, who describes him in his Will as his ' deare frende 
whome it hath already pleased to promise me his lawful help 
and furtherance for the better Execution of this my last 
Will ' ; and he left him ' a hundred powndes in token of 
my dutiful Love and Good Will to his Lordship.' He 
repeatedly in his Will directs his Executors to act ' with the 
advice of the said Lord Cheefe Justice,' and notably in the 
building of the School : — 

' My Will and meaning is that in and about theis severall 
Buildings Plott Frame and all the Parts thereof the advise and 
Directions of my saide righte deare and honorable Friende Sir 
John Popham Knighte Lord Cheef Justice of England shall be 
taken and followed and to him I give Power and Authority to 
alter and change what part or partes thereof for the Manner 
of building largeness and conveying the Premises he shall think 
good and his directions in every thinge for the effectinge of 
my said Purpose herein and in all other Things hereafter in 
my Will mentioned towching the same or other Circumstances 
thereof hereafter mentioned to be still followed and executed 
. . . and what else shall be needful! or requisite in or abowte 
the said Schole or other Circumstances thereof I leave to the 
Direction of the saide Lord Chief Justice which my Executors 
shall perform and accomplish.' 

Blundell also made provision for 

' Foundeing and establishinge six schollers in the Univer- 
sitie of Oxford or Cambridge in such manner as to the said 
Lord Cheefe Justice shall be thought meetest . . . and for all 
other Things fitt to be doune and abowte the same I wholly 
referre to the Directions and finishyeing of the said Lord 
Cheefe Justice most humbly prayeing his good Lordshipp to 
bee pleased to take the same uppon him and to linishe the 
same with all convenient speede.' 

And he left the nomination of the first six ' Schollers ' to 
the Judge. 



SIR JOHN POPHAM 

Blundell's Will was dated 9th June 1599, and he died 
9th May 1 60 1, when it immediately came into operation. 
Elizabeth the Queen did not die until nearly two years later, 
on the 24th March 1603. Before her death Popham was 
building the School, and the foundation was maintaining at 
least five ' Schollers,' and probably seven, at the Universities 
on his nomination. We may rightly therefore speak of 
Blundell's as an Elizabethan foundation, although so near the 
close of her reign. 

Before however I speak of the manner in which Popham 
carried out his trust, we may fitly consider something of the 
man in whom Peter Blundell had such unbounded confidence. 

In the space at my disposal we can but touch on some of 
the most striking features in his varied life. He was many- 
sided, like his age, and intimate with, and in general the friend 
of, all the most brilliant of the actors in that brilliant time, and 
of its perils and its profits he took a full share. 

It was a time of unexampled enterprise. England was 
bursting her narrow limits. So in 1606 we find Popham 
obtaining the Charter of both the London and Plymouth 
Companies by which Virginia and New England were first 
colonised. 

The Plymouth Charter was in fact expressly granted to 
George Popham, the Judge's nephew,^ ' His Mats. Cus- 
tomer of the Porte of Bridgwater ' in Somerset, Captain 
Thomas Hanham, who had married his daughter Penelope, 
Raleigh Gilbert, Sir Walter Raleigh's nephew, and the second 
son of Sir Humphrey Gilbert of Compton and Greenway in 
Devon, and a fourth, William Parker, the Lord Monteagle of 
Gunpowder Plot fame. The Judge himself could not well 
appear as a grantee by reason of his office. 

It was purely a west country undertaking financed by the 
Lord Chief-Justice, and his better-known colleague. Sir 

^ It is curious to note how the classic historians skate round George's relationship. 
Bancroft avoids committing himself altogether ; the others, following Strachey, call 
him 'kinsman,' except Winsor, who boldly writes 'brother' of the Judge. He was 
however a son of Edward Popham, the Judge's eldest brother. 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Ferdinando Gorges, the then governor of Plymouth, from 
which place the company took its name. 

Together and separately Sir John Popham and Gorges had 
sent out several expeditions to the New England coast previous 
to 1606, at least one of which was commanded by Captain 
Hanham. But these left no settlers until 1606, when an 
expedition, despatched by the Judge under George Popham 
and Raleigh Gilbert, established a colony at the mouth of the 
Sagadahoc River (now the Kennebec) in Maine, U.S.A. The 
Judge is described as ' the very soul of the expedition.' With 
them went Hanham and Edward Popham, a great-nephew 
of the Judge, who returned to become the possessor of the 
old home at Huntworth. George, unfortunately, was an old 
man, and died the year he landed in the New World. 

This was thirteen years before the Mayflower and the 
Pilgrim Fathers, and the Judge is accordingly honoured in 
America to-day as the man ' under the shadow of whose great 
name was laid the colossal empire of the western world.' I 
quote from the local toast list at Popham celebrations. 

To-day at the mouth of the Kennebec, Popham Beach and 
Fort and Point still preserve his memory. An inscription 
there states that ' the first colony on the shores of New 
England was founded here Aug. 19, O.S., 1607, under 
George Popham.' The next township still bears the name of 
Topsham, after the port in the old country from which the 
relief ships sailed.^ 

We find an interesting echo of all these undertakings in 
the correspondence of Zuniga, the Spanish Ambassador at 
St. James, with his master Philip 11. In a cipher despatch, 
dated London, March 16, 1606, Zuniga writes : ' The English 
propose to do another thing which is to send five or six 
hundred men, private individuals of this Kingdom, to people 
Virginia in the Indies £lose to Florida,' and he goes on to say 

' The best account of this now almost forgotten colony is to be found ift The 
Sagadahoc Colony, by the Rev. O. Thayer, published by the Gorges Society, Portland, 
Maine, 1892. Brit. Mus. Ac.8391/4. 

4 



SIR JOHN POPHAM 

that the principal leader in this business is Sir John Popham, 
Lord Chief-Justice of England, who is a terrible Puritan^ and 
when reminded that this enterprise is an encroachment upon 
Spanish territory and a violation of the treaty, this astute Judge 
says that he is only undertaking it in order to clear England 
of thieves, and get them drowned in the sea. I have not yet 
complained of this to the King {James)^ says Zuniga, but I 
shall do so. Philip writes back, ' You will report to me if the 
plan progresses, and thereupon it will be taken into considera- 
tion here what steps had best be taken to prevent it.' That 
was about all that Spain could do by that time. It was an old 
complaint, more than a century old, and fortunately for the 
future of North America a fruitless one, for it carried with it 
all the difference to-day between Venezuela and Massa- 
chusetts. 

The italics in Zuniga's letter are mine. I seem to see the 
* terrible Puritan ' giving his account of the interview after- 
wards to a little party in some chambers in the Old Savoy. 
There would be John Smith and Christopher Newport and 
Bartholomew Gosnold, to whom the Atlantic was as familiar as 
their own back doors. Across three centuries I hear them 
laugh and drink confusion to the Spaniard in beakers of 
Richard Hakluyt's best Canary, and by and by Richard him- 
self lets them all out and returns to the printer's devil and 
his own immortal ^Navigations. They made the good Arch- 
deacon one of the four grantees of the Virginia Charter. Yet 
these enterprises found some doubting critics : there were 
little Englanders even in those days. Aubrey says that the 
Judge ' first set afotte the plantations which he stockt and 
planted out of all the gaoles in England.' This might be true 
of the Munster settlement, an Irish venture which the Judge 
had supported, but it applied less to America. 

Popham had been concerned for the increase in vagrants 
in England caused by the increasing conversion of land to 
pasture, and he was the first to urge their banishment * into 
such parts beyond the seas as shall be assigned.' He had 

5 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

indeed drafted Bills for that purpose, one of which (39 Eliz. 
c. 4) became law. 

But this was but incidental to his far-seeing schemes for 
the expansion of his native land. He did not send his friends 
and relations to found convict settlements, any more than he 
wasted his hard-earned savings in sinking criminals at sea. 
He kept those stories for the Spanish Marines, and possibly- 
old women like John Aubrey. 

As Speaker of the House of Commons, Popham was 
cautioned by the autocratic Elizabeth ' to see to it that they 
did not deal or intermeddle in any matters touching my person 
or estate, or church or government ' ; and she severely rated 
him at a later date for presuming to do so. In this, again, 
he was years before his time, and perhaps was prudent — when 
she questioned him as to what had passed in the House in 
the previous session — in replying, ' If it please your Majesty, 
seven weeks.' 

Popham's instincts were all on the Parliament side. He 
was a ' terrible Puritan.' One of his grandsons, a Feoffee 
of Blundell's School, was one of Cromwell's ' Lords,' and 
another held the Mediterranean with Blake for the Com- 
monwealth. 

As Attorney-General he prosecuted Mary Queen of Scots, 
at the trial at Fotheringay in 1586, and again in 1588, Eliza- 
beth's unfortunate secretary, Davidson, for sending off the 
warrant which executed Mary. He conducted the case against 
the Babington conspirators and procured their execution, and 
also that of Campion the Jesuit ; and in a score of other 
great trials, the ' hudge, heavy, ugly man ' appears invariably 
successful. 

While as a pioneer in colonisation he had been the associate 
of Gilbert and Raleigh, Wriothesley and Gorges, as a Privy 
Councillor he was that of Essex and Blount and Cobham. 
He had advised on Raleigh's title to Sherborne Manor, and 
It fell to his sad lot, on his elevation to the Bench, to sentence 
several of his former friends to death. 
6 



SIR JOHN POPHAM 

He did his best to save Essex. With the Lord-Keeper 
Ellesmere he went alone and unarmed to warn him to desist 
in his last mad outbreak, and when Essex imprisoned them 
but offered to let him depart if he would leave Ellesmere, he 
chivalrously refused his liberty on such terms. Ultimately 
both were rescued. 

He sat as Lord Chief- Justice at the subsequent trial, and 
recommended Elizabeth to pardon the Earl, but Elizabeth, 
as we all know, failed to receive her ring, and Essex was 
executed. 

In Raleigh's case Popham's position was pathetic, and it 
found expression in his judgment. The judge strove to 
repress the vituperation of Coke, the Attorney-General, and 
in condemning his old friend, spoke as follows : — 

' I thought I should never have seen this day, Sir Walter, to 
have stood in this place to give sentence of death against you, 
because I thought it impossible that one of so great parts 
should have fallen so grievously. . . . Your case being thus 
let it not grieve you if I speak a little out of zeal and love 
for your good.' 

And later he adds : — 

* Now it resteth to pronounce the judgment which I wish 
you had not been this day to have received of me, for if the 
fear of God in you had been answerable to your other great 
parts you might have lived to have been a singular good 
subject. ... I never saw the like trial, and hope I shall never 
see the like again.' 

Towards the end of his life he presided at the trial of Guy 
Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot Conspirators, and sentenced 
them all to death ^ after a grave and prudent relation and 
defence of the laws made by Queen Elizabeth against re- 
cusants, priests, and receivers of priests.' In like manner, 
in 1606, he tried and condemned to death Henry Garnet, the 
Superior of the Jesuits. This last trial was possibly the most 
important of his life, for it excited the deepest interest all 
over Europe ; and the King himself, a large number of the 

7 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

nobility, and many members of the House of Commons were 
present at it. 

Notwithstanding the stern part Popham had to play in a 
time of political unrest, he appears to have made few enemies, 
and nearly all his contemporaries speak well of him. His 
profession was peculiarly open to attack, yet only once is 
there a hint of such. He recommended to Raleigh as a safe 
guide 'the poesy of the wisest and greatest Councillor in 
our time in England : In medio spatio mediocria firma locantur^ 
This Councillor was Bacon, the man who ' had taken all know- 
ledge for his province,' and Popham apparently adopted the 
' poesy ' as his own rule as well. Bacon in turn speaks of 
Popham ' as a great judge in his time, who was complained 
of by petition to Queen Elizabeth. It was committed to four 
Privy Councillors, but the same was found to be slanderous, 
and the parties punished in Court.' In this he was more for- 
tunate than Bacon himself, who was fined ^40,000 for bribery 
and dismissed from the Lord Chancellorship, or than Popham's 
successor, Sir Edward Coke, a rival of Bacon's, who was also 
dismissed from the Lord Chief-Justiceship. Both were im- 
prisoned in the Tower by James i., who, it is said, for a time 
acted as his own judge, but gave it up in despair as he said — 
' I could get on very well hearing one side only, but when both 
sides have been heard, by my Saul, I know not which is right.' 

The attack on Popham may possibly have been the founda- 
tion of the Littlecote legend referred to by Sir Walter Scott 
in Rokeby, that he obtained that beautiful estate (still the seat 
of the Popham family) as a bribe for judicially saving the 
owner, ' Wild Darell,' from the gallows. But, unfortunately 
for the legend, ' Wild ' Darell died in his bed at Littlecote years 
before Popham was made a judge. This, and the * Darell 
curse,' and the ' Friar of orders grey,' will doubtless endure 
as long as Littlecote lasts. But history only tells us that 
William Darell, the last of Litdecote— the unhappy of fact 
and the ' wild ' of fiction — was a relative of Popham's, and that 
he had frequent recourse to the then Attorney-General for 
8 



SIR JOHN POPHAM 

advice in his interminable lawsuits. Thus Popham writes to 
Darell, under date 28th March 1583 : — 

' I never yet deserted any, and I wyl not now begin with 
you. I think you have hadd better profF (of) me. And so 
wyth my herty commendacyons do commytt you to God. — 
Yor loving frend, Jo. Popham.' 

On the death of Darell in 1589, Popham purchased the 
estate out of his rapidly growing fees. 

In his tone and bearing on the Bench, Popham was a 
pleasant contrast to many both before and after his time, but 
he has left behind him the name of a 'hanging ' judge. In 
regard to highwaymen and such like, Aubrey tells us, ' If he 
v/as the death of a few scores of such gentry, he preserved 
the lives and livelihoods of more thousands of travellers, who 
owed their safety to this judge's severity.' His contemporary. 
Dr. Donne (Dean of St. Paul's), used to say that when he 
proved faithless to his friends he might have a worse fate 
than a sentence from Popham. Popham, indeed, avowed and 
justified his methods in that ' he had cleansed England of all 
her rogues, so that a child might go from Devon to Durham 
with heaps of gold and not be robbed.' The learned Camden, 
in his Britannia published the year of the judge's death, 
especially confirms this, for he says that, while Chief-Justice 
of England, Popham 'administered justice with so much im- 
partiaHty and wholesome severity that England has been long 
indebted to him principally, for its domestic tranquillity and 
security.' 

Coke, the greatest Common Lawyer England has produced, 
spoke of Popham in eulogistic terms too long to quote here 
in their entirety, I give a short extract in the original jargon 
which concealed our law reports as late as the reign of Charles 
II. Coke in Sir Drew Drury's case describes Popham as — 

' De prompt apprehension, profound judgmt, tresexcellet 
intelligence in voier reason del Ley, et de universal et admire 
able experience et conusance de touts besoignes, que concernot 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

le weale publique accompany ove un rare memory ove perpetual 
industry et labour pur le maintenance del tranquility et weal 
publique del Realm, et in touts choses ove grand constancy, 
integrity et patience.' 

Camden bears witness to 'his strict justice and unwearied 
application,' while another contemporary, Lord Chancellor 
Ellesmere, calls him ' a man of great wisdome and of singular 
learning and judgment in the lawe.' I might quote many 
more, but I spare the reader. 

This is no place to appraise Popham's character. Antres 
temps autres mceurs^ and he must be judged by the standards 
of his own age. I have as far as possible let him speak 
for himself or quoted his contemporaries' opinions. From 
all we know we may conclude that Peter Blundell's choice 
was the best possible, and we find that Popham applied 
himself diligently to discharge his behest. The judge was a 
Balliol man himself, as was his son, and also the two grandsons 
I have mentioned. It is natural therefore to find that he fixed 
on his own College for two of Blundell's Scholarships. The 
Master of Emmanuel at Cambridge was an old friend, and to 
him he applied for two more, and two more he gave to Sidney 
Sussex, possibly because its history and teaching was similar 
to Emmanuel, and he knew its founder. They were the 
only two of Protestant foundation at Cambridge. Arch- 
bishop Laud called them both ' nurseries of Puritanism.' 
Emmanuel was not able to come to terms, and the two 
scholars destined for that college were added to those at 
Sidney for the time being. All these boys Popham person- 
ally nominated in 1602, and while he himself dealt with the 
colleges, he did not live to complete the terms. In all he 
appointed seven scholars to both universities before his death. 
His first nomination was John Bury, who afterwards became 
a canon of Exeter. Ultimately by composition deeds in 161 5, 
after the Judge's death, one scholarship and fellowship was 
estabhshed at Balliol, and in 16 16 two scholarships and fellow- 
ships were established at Sidney, and in 1676 a fourth scholar- 
10 



SIR JOHN POPHAM 

ship and fellowship was established at Balliol. The fellowships 
have long ceased to be given as of right to Blundell's scholars, 
but the scholarships have been much extended by subsequent 
benefactions. 

Popham had been given abundant discretion, and he used 
it in rearing an institution that suggested little that was local 
in its outward character. To his wide knowledge and prudent 
foresight we probably owe the form and construction of the 
buildings themselves, the foreign timber of Armada tradition, 
and the halls of university pattern. 

His greatest care was the choice of a headmaster. To this 
Bishop Joseph Hall in his autobiography bears witness : — 

' That faithful observer (Popham) having great interest in 
the Master of our house (Emmanuel College), Dr. Chaderton, 
moved him earnestly to recommend some able, learned, and 
discreet governor to that weighty charge, whose action should 
not need to be, so much as his oversight. It pleased our 
master out of his good opinion to tender this condition unto 
me, assuring me of no small advantages and of no great toil, 
since it was intended the main load of the work should be 
upon other shoulders. I apprehended the motion worth the 
entertaining. In that severe society our times were stinted, 
neither was it wise or safe to refuse good offers. Master Dr. 
Chaderton carried me to London, and there presented me to 
the Lord Chief-Justice with much testimony of approbation. 
The Judge seemed well apaid with the choice. I promised 
acceptance, he the strength of his favour.' This was in 1604, 
when the school buildings had been completed sufficiently 
for use. 

Hall, however, accepted a country living instead, and re- 
commended his old college friend, the Rev. Hugh Cholmley, 
to the Judge in his place, ' who, finding an answerable accept- 
ance, disposed himself to the place.' But Popham was again 
unfortunate. Cholmley also was offered a living shortly after 
his appointment, and, oddly enough, a rectory in the very 
parish of all England in which his future school was situate, 

1 1 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Clare Portion in Tiverton, at that time a Crown presentation 
during the minority of the patron. He, too, chose the living, 
and resigned Blundell's. 

It may be of interest to note that Joseph Hall became 
Dean of Worcester and Bishop successively of Exeter and 
Norwich, and was the favourite chaplain of the short-lived 
Prince Henry of Wales. 

As Bishop of Exeter Hall left his mark in many ways ; 
upon the Cathedral he certainly impressed it. Following his 
appointment the records show Samuel Hall, Prebendary and 
Sub-Dean, succeeded by Nicholas Hall, Canon Residentiary 
and Treasurer of the Cathedral ; George Hall, Canon Re- 
sidentiary and Archdeacon of Cornwall ; Robert Hall, Canon 
Residentiary, and, in turn, Archdeacon of Cornwall, also Trea- 
surer of the Cathedral ; and a second Joseph Hall, Registrar 
of the Cathedral. All these were Joseph's appointments. Like 
his prototype in Egypt, he seemed to possess many brethren, 
in this case sons. Hall, however, took care of friends as well 
as relations. Years after he had been made Bishop of Exeter 
he made Cholmley successively Prebendary and Canon of his 
Cathedral, and in 1632 Sub-Dean. Cholmley in his turn tried 
to do the Bishop a good turn by theologic pamphleteering in 
his defence against ' the weake cavils ' of one Henry Burton in 
1629.^ But to return to the Judge. Popham did not live to 
carry out all the details of his friend Blundell's trust, but died 
suddenly in 1607, and was buried under a magnificent tomb 
in Wellington Church, where his effigy still lies recumbent in 
the same robes, and with the same face as in his picture at 
the school, except that the nose is a little worn down by the 
attrition of ages. 

The gossiping Aubrey says : ' He left a vast estate to 
his son, Sir Francis ; I thinke ten thousand pounds per ann.' 

1 Cholmley preached the anniversary sermon at the school in 1618, 1620, 1621, 
and 1622. The great school account book shows that he was paid los. out of the 
Trust Income on each occasion for his services. He probably preached on many 
more anniversaries than these, but the school accounts are unfortunately missing from 
1623 to 1633. He died 1641, and is burled in Exeter Cathedral with his wife. 
12 



SIR JOHN POPHAM 

Lord Campbell calls it the greatest estate that ever had 
been amassed by any lawyer, so that the ' perpetual industry ' 
appears to have brought its reward. The Popham almshouses, 
which he founded at Wellington, still remain to attest his 
memory. 

His only son, Sir Francis, was appointed by Peter Blun- 
dell to be the first of the Feoffees in whose hands he placed 
the school. Sir Francis sat in every Parliament from the 
last of Elizabeth to the last of Charles i. inclusive, and was 
expressly excepted from the general pardon by that king as a 
staunch Parliamentarian. He continued the American tradi- 
tion, and sent many ships to the Maine coast. He was added 
to the Council of the Plymouth Company on his father's death, 
and was a grantee under the new charter of the Company in 
1620. 

Down to the establishment of the present scheme of 
administration in 1876, a Popham was usually of the body of 
Feoffees ; and it would be a graceful act to revive the old 
connection, and again elect a Popham of Littlecote to the 
present governing body. 

In such an age, and amid such men, was ' Blundell's ' born. 
Camden reminds us, in connection with Popham, that ' it is 
not proper that men of distinguished virtue, and who have 
deserved well of their country, should be forgotten ' ; yet, in 
the petty details of charity administration, we are sometimes 
apt to grow parochial, and forget that the school once heard 
the footfall of Fairfax and echoed the eloquence of Wesley. 
We lose the merchant prince of mediaeval London in the 
serge maker of Tiverton, and the Elizabethan judge in the 
neighbouring squire. 

It seems good, therefore, to revive the fading memories of 
the great men who shaped the early life of the school, and so 
rise from recollections of P.B.'s and ' v/inkies ' to walk with 
kings and statesmen. 

One word as to the picture itself. It appears to have been 
obtained through the efforts of Benjamin Incledon of Pilton 

13 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

House, Barnstaple, one of the Feoffees to the school, and 
presented to the school about the year 1803, probably by his 
son, Robert Newton, Incledon. As in that year the Feoffees 
ordered a frame for it, we may conclude it was probably the 
year of the gift. 

I only know of four other pictures of the Judge, one at 
Littlecote, one at Kimbolton Park, Lancashire, a third in the 
National Portrait Gallery, and a fourth at present at Bag- 
borough House, Somerset. Hepworth Dixon has given us 
a fearsome description of the Kimbolton portrait. 

American books usually reproduce the Littlecote or 
Kimbolton portraits. Ours at Blundell's, while of general 
resemblance, differs in detail from them all, but whether it is 
an original or a copy we have no record, and it is of little 
moment, for may we not truly say of Sir John Popham as of 
Sir Christopher Wren — 

' Si monumentum quasris circumspice ' ? 



H 



PETER SAINTHILL 

WITHIN three years of Peter Blundell's death, his 
executors had carried out the provisions of his 
will ' with all convenient speede, upon a fytt and 
convenient plotte and piece of grounde in Tiverton aforesaid, 
to erect and buyld a faier School House.' 

Architect and builder had done their work well ; there 
was dignity and harmony about the design as a whole which 
must have delighted that grim old lawyer. Sir John Popham, 
when he rode over from Wellington Court to examine the 
work for which he held himself responsible. 

In the choice of a headmaster difficulties had arisen early. 
As far back as 1601 it had been offered to Dr. Hall, but the 
future Bishop of Exeter and Norwich had no sooner accepted 
than he declined the school for a valuable Suffolk living. It 
reflects no little credit on the nerve and diplomacy of Hall, 
that not only did he venture to interview the Lord Chief- 
Justice again, but even successfully commended his * old friend 
and chamber fellow Mr. Chomley ' as master in his own stead. 
But for some unknown reason — perhaps because the school 
was not yet built — Mr. Chomley does not appear to have 
taken up his charge, and so it remained for Mr. Samuel 
Butler, ' diligent in his office and vigilant in his care and 
observation of the school,' to head the list of the seventeen 
headmasters who have guided the destinies of the foundation 
during the last 300 years. 

Mr. Butler brought some boys with him, and very soon after 
the opening of the school the subject of this memoir, Peter 
Sainthill of Bradninch, was enrolled among the ' forreyners,' 
as the boarders were then called, in distinction to the native 

15 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

boys of the town. The founder in his will had limited the 
scholars to 150, and the consent of ten householders was 
necessary to the admission of any ' forreyner,' though, as this 
formality was seldom exercised, no difficulties arose in the case 
of a boy belonging to a family so well known in Devon. 

The Sainthills of Bradninch could trace back their ancestry 
to the Norman Conquest. A Sainthill had sat in Parliament 
in the days of Edward 11. ; while, in the Herald's visitation of 
Devonshire, 1564, a Peter Sainthill is found firmly established 
at Bradninch, with a grant of arms, and a holder of manors, 
tithes, and advowsons ; the latter, no doubt, part and parcel 
of the dissolved monastery of Canonsleigh. On his death in 
1 571 the estates passed to his son Peter, who, in due course, 
married, and became the father of a large family, the eldest of 
whomj Peter, was born in the year 1593. 

It is a fair assumption, then, that this Peter was one of 
the earliest scholars on the foundation, and that his boyhood 
was spent in the society of school-fellows who were destined 
in the years to come to take each his part in the great struggle 
between King and Parliament. As befitted the heir to a large 
estate he travelled, following the fashion of the time which 
dictated that the tour through France, Spain, Italy, and the 
Low Countries was, as Bacon phrased it, ' a necessary part of 
education.' 

In his twenty-fifth year his father died and was buried 
beside his wife ; but, by this time, the heir had married Dorothy 
Parker of Foldhay, Zeal Monachorum, and was, doubtless, 
making himself familiar with the management of the estate. 

But stirring times were ahead ; the breach between King 
and Commons was widening, and such events as the assassina- 
tion of the Duke of Buckingham, the Petition of Right, and 
Ship Money were discussed as keenly in that quiet Devon 
village as in London itself. 

There is a strange fascination about the years which 
immediately preceded the Civil War. Outwardly, all was calm 
and prosperous ; trade flourished, the power of the King and 
16 



PETER SAINTHILL 

the Archbishop was apparently at its greatest height. But, in 
reality, beneath the surface, forces were gathering that neither 
the King nor Lord Strafford, for all his great qualities, could 
hold in check ; and all this seeming prosperity was, as one 
writer has phrased it, only the last gleam of an autumn sunset 
before the sun of royalty set behind the dark clouds of 
rebellion and disaster. 

Sainthill during this time was taking an active part in 
affairs. He was Steward of the Stannaries, one of the Masters 
in Chancery, and Recorder of his native town, Bradninch. A 
popular, as well as a busy man, it is no slight testimony to his 
character that even a Puritan satire written in doggerel verse 
speaks well of him. 

' Ke was a man of wit profound, 
Recorder of his native town, 
Humble, benign, of Norman blood, 
Caressed, esteemed for being good.' 

In the year 1640 the eleven years of Charles's arbitrary 
rule ended, for the pressure of events forced him to summon 
the Short Parliament, in which Sainthill was chosen, together 
with his kinsman, Sir Peter Balle, to represent Tiverton. 

It fell to John Pym, a Somersetshire squire, who, like 
Sainthill, had studied law, to put into words the grievances of 
the nation, and he soon placed in clear relief the facts of the 
political situation. But the old differences arose on the 
question whether supply should be voted before grievances 
were redressed, and in a few weeks Parliament v/as dissolved, 
and Sainthill returned to his Devon home. But before many 
months were out London claimed him again ; for though 
Strafford, game to the last, was for establishing a practical 
dictatorship, and Charles, at his wits' end for money, strained 
prerogative to the breaking point, yet by the end of the year 
the whole policy of ' Thorough ' had fallen in ruins, and the 
King, to his humiliation, was forced to call together the 
famous Long Parliament. 

Again Sainthill represented Tiverton, and his attitude 

B 17 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

towards the affairs of the day exactly reflects those conservative 
instincts which in every nation stand in the way of too rapid 
change. At first he inclined to the popular side, and was 
among many of the county gentlemen who showed a firm 
front to the aggressions of the Crown and the new-fangled 
nostrums of Laud and Strafford. He was no reformer, no 
follower of new ideas, but a man who regarded Parliament as 
the best security against innovations in religion and govern- 
ment. 

No sooner, however, had the Long Parliament removed the 
most crying abuses, and, by the Triennial Act, secured its own 
existence for the future, than new questions arose with which 
Sainthill and the country gentlemen generally could have little 
sympathy. It would be beside the purpose of this memoir to 
trace the steps by which the Royalist party came into existence ; 
it is enough to say that the Militia Bill, and in a still greater 
degree the Puritan attack on the Church, led to the growth of 
a Royalist party. Sainthill, like Hyde and Falkland, who had 
been equally keen in the removal of abuses, now found himself 
compelled to choose between King and Parliament, though he 
did not fully agree with either. His choice was that of most 
of the country gentry in the West, whom deep-rooted interest 
and ancient sentiment alike drew to the Royalist side. 

He was one of the one hundred and eighteen members 
that sat in the Parliament which the King convened in January 
1 643 at Oxford, and signed, in conjunction with other members, 
the letter to the Earl of Essex ; in consequence of which the 
Parliament, in their subsequent propositions for peace, required 
that Peter Sainthill (among others) be removed from Court 
and his Majesty's Councils, and be rendered incapable of ever 
holding office, and that one-third of his estates should be 
confiscated. 

Whether Sainthill fought in any of the earlier campaigns 

is uncertain ; at the beginning of the war all Devon was in 

the hands of the Parliamentary Committees, and Bradninch 

was dangerously near Exeter, the headquarters of the Earl of 

18 



PETER SAINTHILL 

Stamford. There was, it is true, a small Royalist force at 
Plympton, but all the large towns had been seized and 
garrisoned for the Parliament. 

Cornwall, however, was for the King, and, after a treaty 
for peace in the two counties had come to nothing, Sir 
Ralph Hopton marched into Devon, set a garrison to check 
Exeter, and to a limited extent re-established the King's 
power in the county. It is noteworthy, too, that he dis- 
possessed from his command at Tiverton John Were of 
Halberton, who, though direct proof is lacking, was in all 
probability a Blundellian and a contemporary of Sainthill. 
Later on in the same year, 1643, after the capture of Bristol, 
Prince Maurice was sent down to the West as Commander- 
in-Chief, and he, after joining forces with those of Sir John 
Berkeley, took Exeter on September 4th, to the joy of the 
Cavalier household at Bradninch, and to the triumph of the 
Royalist cause in Devon. 

Next year fighting was general all over England, but our 
main interest lies with the army of the King, who, having 
beaten Waller severely at Cropredy Bridge near Oxford, set out 
for the West in pursuit of Essex, and also in order to be near 
his Queen, Henrietta Maria, who was at that time in Exeter. 
Now her Majesty being in ill-health had applied, after the 
birth of her daughter, for a safe-conduct to go to Bath, but 
this was refused by Essex, who, however, gave her leave to 
consult a doctor in London. But there were prisons as well 
as doctors in London, and as her impeachment had already 
been voted, the Queen naturally declined the offer. 

Leaving Tiverton, Essex marched west, on the invitation 
of Lord Roberts, to settle the peace of Cornwall, and it so 
happened that he was at Tavistock on the same day (July 26) 
that Charles, who had gone through Chard and Honiton, 
reached Exeter. The next day he rode out to Collumpton to 
review Prince Maurice's army, a reinforcement some four 
thousand strong. His headquarters were at Bradninch, and 
there for a day and a night Sainthill entertained his sovereign, 

19 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

attending him next morning on his march to Exeter. Charles, 
it is said, cut his initials on his bedroom door as a memento of 
his visit, but they are no longer to be seen. 

It is curious to note how the Puritan satire lessens and 
depreciates this visit : — 

* Now when the king was in the West, 
And not a little in distress, 

He honoured Peter with a call 
By night, incog., but that 's not all, 
He wanted money for to spend 
In waging war, that was the end, 
And he knew those that had to lend.' 

Having borrowed ^^200, according to the satire, the King, 

* To make the pledge more firm and sure, 
Etched his sign manual on the door,' 

promising to make the squire a knight after the war. Surely 
it is the very irony of history that the only reward the family 
received for their sacrifices in the cause of the King was a 
pardon, granted by Charles 11. 1668, to Peter Sainthill, then 
dead twenty years, for any offences committed against the 
Crown. 

Under a commission from the King at Bradninch, Sainthill 
raised and commanded a local trained band which, if the satire 
is to be believed, consisted, like FalstafFs army, of ' revolted 
tapsters and ostlers trade-fallen ; the cankers of a calm world 
and a long peace.' 

Meanwhile the toils were being steadily woven round 
Essex, who instead of finding friends in Cornwall, was com- 
pelled ever to retreat with his starving army, and finally to 
escape by boat to London, leaving his foot-soldiers to sur- 
render at Lostwithiel. Since the days of Nicias, as one 
historian has pointed out, no general so devoted, so self- 
satisfied, so incompetent had been at the head of an army. 

Among those who surrendered was John Were, who, ' wet 
and sicke with a wound greene and a bullet in my body,' as 
he quaintly phrases it in his ' Apologie,^ promised to serve the 
20 



PETER SAINTHILL 

King, with a secret reservation to serve him no further than he 
complied with Parliament. But if on that night the two old 
school-fellows met, Sainthill in the proud assurance that the 
King's cause would triumph and Were a wounded and broken 
man, it was but one incident out of many in that distracting 
war in which kinsmen became foes and brother even slew 
brother. 

Next year, 1645, the tide of war ran strongly against the 
King, and Sainthill, who was one of the Commissioners for 
managing the King's affairs in the West, met the Prince of 
Wales at Bridge water (April 23) to consult on the best steps 
to be taken for the King's service. Within a couple of 
months the news of the crushing defeat at Naseby reached 
Bradninch at a moment, so, at least, says the Puritan satire, 
when Sainthill and his men 

' In Peter's great and lofty hall, 
Seated in order for to dine, 
Swig cyder, beer, and meady wine.' 

With the result that the company broke up on the spot, and 
Sainthill escaped abroad. This, however, is not strictly true, 
for though in his victorious campaign in the West, Fairfax 
made Bradninch his headquarters on October 16, Sainthill 
did not fly till tov/ards the close of March 1646, a few days, 
indeed, before the fall of Exeter. 

By the articles under which that city surrendered, Sainthill 
became entitled to compound for his estates, which were 
sequestrated by Parliament. Only a part, however, was re- 
covered by his son Samuel in July 1653, after a long suit, by 
paying a heavy composition ; but all the estates in fee in 
Devon, Dorsetshire, and Yorkshire were confiscated, and it 
was with an impaired and lessened estate that he returned 
to Bradninch in 1657. If Sainthill was not the only Royalist 
who lost his estates, he was at any rate more fortunate than 
many others in that he had friends abroad. His brother 
Robert, a merchant and agent to the Duke of Tuscany, was 

21 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

living at Leghorn, and in the early autumn of 1645 Sainthill, 
who had removed with his wife and family to Exeter for 
greater security, left that city. Having received from General 
Fairfax a pass, which, dating from the surrender of Exeter, 
April 9, 1646, allowed freedom from molestation for himself, 
' with his servants, horses, arms, and necessaries,' he travelled 
through Cornwall, and reached Leghorn early in May 1646. 

The rest of the story is soon told. Harassed by anxiety, 
and worn out by the strain of the war, he had barely, after a 
trying journey, reached Leghorn before he was seized with 
a serious illness. Among the Sainthill papers is a curious 
medical certificate, signed by several doctors at Leghorn, assert- 
ing that their patient was unfit to travel back to England, 
whither he had been summoned, for the purpose doubtless of 
making composition for his delinquency. A month later the 
order for his composition was given by the committee, but 
five long years elapsed before the amount of the fine was 
fixed, and by that time Sainthill was no more. 

In the words of the tablet on his monument, he had with- 
drawn ' to reserve himself for more successful service to his 
King and country' to Italy, where, having spent the re- 
mainder of his life in the exercise of virtue and devotion, 
and lamenting the miseries a civil war had brought upon his 
country, he resigned his spirit to God who gave it in the year 
of grace 1648, and the fifty-fourth of his age. 

A man of culture and unaffected simplicity of character, 
Sainthill represents the Cavalier cause at its best. 

He was no roystering swordsman like Goring, no idealist 
like Falkland, but just a plain country gentleman, whose name 
has come down to us to-day as a pattern of integrity and dis- 
interested loyalty. 



22 



THE NEWTES 

EIGHT years after Popham had built Blundell's, and five 
years after his own death, the School narrowly escaped 
total destruction by fire ; for, in 1612, the whole town 
was burnt to the ground, with the exception of the School, the 
Church, and Castle, and a few other buildings, ' not without 
great negligence of the inhabitants who did easily omit their 
duties to the great hurt and detriment of the whole town,' In 
the matter of fire extinction the town was apparently much the 
same then as in our own time, and we really owe the Mayor and 
Corporation whom we criticise to-day for the same default, to 
that very default itself. For James i,, on the loth August 
161 5, gave the town a Charter of Incorporation for its ' better 
ordering, and government,' and in it recited the previous short- 
comings that I have quoted, and by it nominated Henry Newte 
the elder to be the first Town Clerk, and Henry Newte the 
younger to succeed his father in that office. This is the first 
mention of a family who lived in Tiverton for seven genera- 
tions, and were intimately connected with all that concerned 
Tiverton and Blundell's. 

To-day their names are chiefly to be found in the old 
parish church of Tiverton, where there are fourteen inscriptions 
to the memory of these seven generations. Three of these 
inscriptions, however, are buried under the present chancel 
tiles, and a fourth is on the outside of the chancel wall. 

' Newte ' survives also in Newte's Hill and Plantation, 
which overlook the old rectory at Tidcombe, of which five 
of the name were successively owners, the Newte Exhibition 
at the School, the Newte Library at the Church, and some 
other still existing Newte charities. 

23 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

The local antiquary says their name was originally Canute, 
and they bore the arms of Hardicanute, but that is the kind 
of thing the local antiquary always says. 

As the present Blundell's Register only commences in 1770, 
one cannot say with certainty how many of these seven genera- 
tions were O.B.'s. Henry the younger was almost certainly, 
his brother Richard and his nephew John, and John's nephew 
Samuel, all rectors, were quite certainly, and the second Samuel 
and John, both rectors who succeeded, probably were, and the 
last Thomas possibly. 

Peter Blundell's object in founding scholarships at the 
universities was, as he expressed it, ' the increase of good and 
godly preachers of the Gospell, and the SchoUars were to be 
studients in divinitie.' The effect of this is seen in the large 
proportion of West Country clergy educated at the School in 
the course of its three hundred years' existence. Thus, in 
1789, when O.B. Day was revived, 30 out of the 72 who took 
tickets were clergy. In 179O, 47 out of 102, in 1891, 39 out 
of 93 present, and so forth. Of these West Country clergy, 
who, generation after generation, received their early education 
at the School, the Newtes were typical representatives. 

The parish of Tiverton was almost unique in its ecclesias- 
tical constitution. With one parish and one parish church it 
comprised four portions, each with a rector. Three, known as 
Clare, Pitt, and Tidcombe portions, had rectory houses, the 
fourth, known as Priors, had King's College, Cambridge, for 
its rector, and no house. The history of this strange develop- 
ment is v/hat Mr. Kipling calls ' another story ' too long to be 
told here. The advowson to the three rectories other than 
Priors was in various hands by rotation, and Henry Newte the 
younger purchased the major portion of it from one of the 
descendants of the Courtenays, and thus the Newte family 
obtained rights of presentation to all three rectories. These 
rights they generally exercised in favour of one of themselves, 
so that in this way the same Newte was frequently rector of 
two portions with two rectory houses at the same time. In 
24 



THE NEWTES 

1641 Henry the younger presented his brother Richard the 
first Newte rector to both Tidcombe and Clare portions. 

Henry died in 1670, leaving £s^ ^ Y^^' ^° ^^^ ^^^ 
Corporation, of which for two years he had been mayor. 

Over his grave in St. Peter's is written : — 

' Principis & juris non observantior alter 
Utq, suum regi sic dedit ille Deo.' 

and I do not doubt it. Another Latin inscription over the 
grave of Richard in the same church is, I think, so attested by 
his life and conduct that I venture a translation of a portion 
of it here : — 

' For 37 years Rector of this Church. His early )outh he spent at 
our most liberal School. His later youth and manhood at Oxford in 
the diligent pursuit of learning. He was a fellow of Exeter College. 
In theology, languages, and every kind of elegant literature he was 
hardly to be equalled. At length, as if the intellects of Britain could 
not satisfy his too receptive mind, Vv'hile the Civil War v.as raging, with 
the object of seeing foreign nations, he traversed Europe in the kindred 
society of most famous men. On his return he becomes the kindly 
and excellent pastor of this church. In the time of the plague he was 
most indefatigable. To his king he was most devoted. Conscious of 
doing his duty in both these respects he neither looked for nor received 
reward. He was one of the chaplains in ordinary to his serene Majesty, 
Charles II. . . . Being attacked by gout he ended his life loth August, 
1678.' 

During the Rebellion his rectory and glebe houses of 
Clare v^'ere burnt, and their ruins helped to form outworks 
for the Castle when it, too, v/as attacked. His house at Tid- 
combe was wrecked, and he himself was frequently harassed 
before the triers and committees of those times until he was 
formally dispossessed of both rectories. From 1650 until the 
Restoration we read much of him in a work entitled, y^ft 
Atte}npt towards Recovering an Account of the Numbers and 
Sufferings of the Clergy in the late times of the Grand Rebellion, 
by John Walker, M.A., Rector of St. Mary the More, Exeter, 
known to-day as Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy. But 

25 



BLUNDELLS WORTHIES 

Richard had a gallant wife, and here I cannot do better than 
quote Walker : — 

' Mrs. Newte stoutly refused to give up Tidcombe Rectory- 
House. They ordered sometimes ten, sometimes twelve, 
soldiers to quarter on him, and took good care to pick out 
such among them as were the lewdest and most profligate 
villains and the greatest enemies to the clergy in the whole 
regiment, and when he was at length forced by these and 
other methods to abscond, his wife was threatened by the 
Commissioners in the town, to be thrown out of doors with 
her tender infants into the highway if they would not depart, 
and the mob of the town were encouraged to make alarms at 
night at the gates and doors of the house several times to 
weary and frighten her out by the perpetual disturbances, all 
which with many more indignities too tedious to relate the 
poor gentlewoman bore for a long time with a great deal of 
patience and courage, but at last she was forced to remove, 
though even then she refused to deliver up the possession and 
stoutly told them she knew no right they had, and if they 
entered there it should be like rogues, as they were. How- 
ever, they at length broke in.' 

Mr. Newte returned several times at the risk of his life, 
chiefly to preach to the plague-stricken of Tiverton, and visit 
and tend them in their own homes, where they were dying at 
the rate of 250 a week. A few cottages outside Tiverton now 
known as Little Silver still mark a suburb created to divide 
the healthy from the infected. 

He finally obtained a lecturership at Ottery St. Mary, at ^20 
per annum, having lost at Tiverton about j^4.oo per annum. 

But (to quote Walker again) ' this was also taken from him 
for preaching on Xmas day from the text, "Abraham rejoiced 
to see my day, and he saw it, and was glad," upon which a 
fellow in the congregation cried aloud (as the fashion then 
was to disturb even a Godly as well as a Malignant minister if 
they did not like his doctrine), " What, doth he make Abraham 
a Christmas-man, too .? " ' 
26 



THE NEWTES 

He was then left quite destitute, ' forced with his family 
to lodge several nights in a wood.' In 1656 Colonel Basset 
put him into the living of Heanton Punchardon, near Barn- 
staple, where he continued undisturbed further, until the 
Restoration. 

He returned to Tiverton in 1 660 to find Tidcome Rectory 
in ruins, Mr. Polwhele, his Independent successor, having let 
it down ' quite even to the highway.' 

Those were evil days for the Malignant, otherwise Royalist, 
clergy. Richard Newte's colleague at Pitt Rectory, George 
Pierce, was also not of the Godly party, and fared no better. 

Walker tells us ' his house was plundered no less than three 
several times to a very great value, his children were thrown 
out of their beds on the floor, and not only those beds, but 
everything else, was taken from them, besides their wearing 
clothes. Then soldiers offered their pistols cocked to the 
breast of his wife, then big with child, and asked her if she 
would have a brace of bullets in her body. He was likewise 
seized himself several times and hurried from place to place 
with the army, and his poor wife hath been forced to trudge 
14 or 15 miles on foot to her husband whilst she was soliciting 
his release. In a word, he was reduced to such necessities that 
his wife and six children were dispersed up and down two and 
three hundred miles asunder, and lived on charity. Mrs. 
Pierce, one day applying to Mr. Chishul, who succeeded her 
husband, for her fifths due to her by the then Ordinance of 
Parliament, or for something to supply the necessities of her 
family, pleading with him the number of her children, who 
were six at that time, and all very young and helpless & 
wanting relief, he replied that he had a pair of geldings in 
the stable, and a groom, too, which must be maintained, & 
were more chargeable than all her children.' 

Tiverton and the School, too, suffered much as well. 

Few now realise, I think, what the Civil War meant to this 
place. Being on one of the main western high-roads, nearly 
every great general of the time took and retook it, or passed 

27 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

through it, usually by way of Newte's Hill, for in the words of 
Joshua Sprigge, Fairfax's chaplain, ' it lay upon a passe, and 
might much annoy an army.' The church and castle were 
fired on for days together, and for three years the Exe Valley 
lay in a constant v/elter of war. The armies of Charles, 
Essex, and Fairfax alike were here for weeks at a time, and as 
each was seldom less than 10,000 strong, and some came more 
than once, the little town can hardly have recognised itself. 
Master Nicholas Culpepper, the great herbalist, tells us that 
Essex's horses ' being drawn up in a body, many of them lost 
their shoes upon White Downe, in Devonshire, near Tiverton, 
because moonwort grows ' there, and moonwort ' will loosen 
shoes from those horses' feet that goes on the places where it 
groweth.' 

The town raised the first regiment for the Parliament in 
the West, which, by the way, after a short life surrendered to 
the King at Lostwithiel, ' so durty and dejected varlets as was 
rare to see,' as Richard Symonds, a Royalist trooper, unkindly 
entered in his diary. Rupert and Essex date their letters 
from Tiverton. Fairfax dictated the terms of surrender to 
Exeter and Barnstaple from here. Fleetwood, Ludlow, Ireton, 
the great Oliver and his son Richard, Goring, Grenville, 
Berkeley, Maurice, and a host of other great soldiers rode 
about the streets and no doubt abused their much-tried 
paving. The Castle was for the King, while it lasted, and 
the Parliament usually put up at the School, v\^hich was the 
next best house in the place. 

The fate of the town as a Royalist garrison came, how- 
ever, one Friday evening in October 1645, when Fairfax, 
with his wounded face, fresh from Naseby, clattered up 
the old Green, the Ironside troopers at his heels. Two 
generals and some six or eight colonels sat heavily in the 
School-house, and by Sunday mid-day the Castle was Parlia- 
mentarian for ever. It is difficult to see how the School got 
through any work at all in such days. The entries in the 
great account book certainly show that the masters drew 
28 



THE NEWTES 

their salaries regularly, but the most frequent entry is ' Mend- 
ing School house,' In 1647 ^ovq than ^45 was spent in 
repairing the outer walls, and for five years following repair is 
needed to the buildings, which could not by reason of their 
recent erection have been occasioned by ordinary wear and 
tear. In 1647 we find nearly 20,000 'helling stones' — i.e. 
slates — required, more than 50 hogsheads of lime, and 
labourers' wages for 257 days. Between 1648 and 1653 
more than ^^137 was spent in this way, a large sum for those 
days. The stone appears to have come from Collipriest 
quarry. 

The present old inhabitant is apt to shake his head over 
the growing perils of our times, the unrest, the social dis- 
placements, the arrogance of the lower classes, and such like. 
I wonder what he would have said of the brave days of old, 
when things were as they were in Tiverton then. The 
established order was so broken up that men believed the 
end of all things near, and that Christ v/ould shortly descend 
to reign with the Fifth Monarchy saints. 

But Richard weathered the storm, and when Charles 11, 
enjoyed his own again, Richard Newte, as a loyal adherent, 
was restored with George Pierce and the rest, and rebuilt 
Tidcombe Rectory. Charles, whom he had met abroad, offered 
him the deanery of Exeter, which Richard declined ' as being 
a great lover of privacy and retirement, and always averse to 
any more publick shewing himself than what concerned his 
station at Tiverton, with which he was best satisfied as being 
the place of his nativity.' 

In Tidcombe Rectory he was succeeded by his son John, 
who describes himself in his father's epitaph as ' in ecclesia 
indignus successor.' John also v/as educated at Blundell's, 
and the first Blundell's Fellow of Balliol under the 1676 
Composition with the College, in consideration of his father 
Richard having given it ;^ioo. John is remembered in 
Tiverton in many ways. He placed the present great organ 
in St. Peter's Church in 1696, and preached a famous sermon 

29 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

at its opening, on ' The Lawfulness and Use of Organs in 
the Christian Church,' which excited much controversy at the 
time. He published, too, in 17 ii, another sermon entitled, 
' A Discourse on the Impiety of Tithe Stealing,' which gives 
the ' dismal end of a sacrilegious person ' who had helped to 
despoil the Devon chapel at the Church. In all these he was 
a faithful exemplar of the theology of his time. He laid the 
foundation-stone of St. George's Church, then a chapel of 
ease to the parish church. He was a staunch non-resistance 
man, and represented the Devonshire clergy for three years in 
convocation. He left his library and five pictures — one of 
himself,^ the others of Charles i,. Laud, Strafford, and Mon- 
trose — to St. Peter's Church, where all, except the picture of 
Charles, still remain in the vestry. Chief among his other 
numerous and still existing charities is an estate at Braunton 
in North Devon, which he left to Balliol College to found the 
present Newte Exhibition for Blundellians. 

From his epitaph in St. Peter's Church we learn that he 
was thirty-seven years rector of Tidcombe, and thirty-six 
years rector of Pitt portions of the parish of Tiverton, and 
that ' he patiently bore ye pains of a lingering sickness, and 
cheerfully resigned his soul to God, March 7, 171 5, aged 
sixty years. Peter Newte, his only surviving brother and 
executor, thus expresseth his more than equal share of a 
general loss.' We may hazard the surmise that the lingering 
sickness was once more the gout, as we find it in the next 
generation worse than before. 

The brother Peter is thus commemorated on the walls of 
St. Peter's chancel : — ' Peter Newte, an unworthy son of the 
right worthy Richard Newte, dyed June the 1 5th, 1720.' Peter, 
I think, like John, unnecessarily wronged himself, for he left 
money for the repair of his brother's tomb ; and again, like 
him, lands and moneys in charities, many of which exist to this 
day. 

^ The illustration to this article is a copy of this picture. The autograph is from 
the parish register. 

30 



THE NEWTES 

To John at Tidcombe succeeded his nephew Samuel, also 
of Balliol. Samuel was Lent preacher at Oxford in 17 14. 
He is of some interest to us at Blundell's, as, when O.B. 
Day was first established, in 1725, Samuel was the first preacher 
at it, and took for his text : ' The words of the wise are as 
goads and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, 
which are given from one shepherd.' Good Samuel Newte ! 
Discipline probably was discipline in his day. But Samuel 
was to know other goads and nails before he died. His Latin 
epitaph in St. Peter's may be thus Englished : — 

' With the intention of being buried here whenever it shall 
seem best to the good God, Samuel Newte set up this marble 
as a monument. 

' He also gaining his wish, after having been long harassed 
by gout {podagra) and other diseases, and for whole months, 
not to say years (perchance beyond what will seem credible to 
any one), scarcely ever closing his eyes in sleep, at length worn 
out by paralysis, here found rest on the 17th March 1742. 
Aged 57.' 

Then, a second Samuel at Tidcombe, of Oriel College, 
Oxon., and probably Blundell's. He was son of the last 
Samuel, and rector of Pitt portion also. He, in turn, is 
' loos'd from the tortur'd frame of human earth' in 1781, 
possibly again by the podagra. His virtues are preserved in 
an incised poem of five verses, from which the above line is 
taken, placed on the walls of St. Peter's by his two sons, 
Thomas and John, who doubtless composed it. I may quote 
one stanza, as I read it over my head each Sunday : — 

' Far hence be flattery, but impartial Truth 

Her honest judgment shall to time consign ; 
Let emulation read without a sigh, 

Ne'er spake religion from a voice like thine.' 

To him at Tidcombe succeeds John, who only survived 
him eleven years, and died in 1792. John was of Christ- 
Church, Oxon., and most probably of Blundell's, and the fifth 

31 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

and last rector of that name at Tidcombe in succession. His 
widow afterwards married the Rev. John West Carew, and 
died in 1822. John, too, has his record on St. Peter's walls, 
that ' he was eminently distinguished for his extensive learn- 
ino-, brilliancy of wit, cheerfulness of disposition, amiable 
manners, and unbounded charity.' He left a nephew, Thomas, 
described as of Tiverton, the seventh in descent from the 
original town clerk. After him the family pass into other 
places, and Tiverton and Tidcombe know them no more. The 
present Tidcombe House stands on the site of their rectory, 
which was pulled down in the early part of the nineteenth 
century. 

The old rectory had seen five Newtes, all rectors in succes- 
sion, carried from its doors to their long home at St. Peter's. 
The first of these rectors had been a school-boy before the 
Mayflower sailed ; the last of them left the rectory after the 
United States had become a separate nation. In this way one 
realises something of the years that passed between. 

Of the house of the five rectors nothing remains but the 
fish-pond which tempered their fast days, the cellars where 
lived the unsleeping podagra^ and the old gardens, where 
surely the shades of men in life so true to ' the place of their 
nativity ' must still linger ' with feet that make no sound upon 
the floors.' 

Their history rightly told is, for 200 years, that of their 
country, their town, their church, and their school. The good 
or ill fortune of one was that of the other. 

Henry, the town clerk ; Richard, the oppressed, preaching 
to the plague-stricken in Little Silver; John, the ' indignus 
successor,' dividing his goods with the poor ; Samuel at his 
school feast ; Peter, the self-styled unworthy. In Church or 
State all were alike, serving their generation well — Christian 
gentlemen, Blundell's worthies. 



32 



GEORGE BULL 

OF the many men eminent in the Church who have re- 
ceived their education at Blundell's School, probably 
the most distinguished of all, judged from the stand- 
point of theological learning, was George Bull, Bishop of 
St. David's. 

There are no registers in existence of the pupils who 
frequented the School in the seventeenth century, hence the 
record of his attendance must be searched for elsewhere. 
Fortunately for posterity, he possessed an intimate friend, 
one Robert Nelson, who made it a labour of love to per- 
petuate his memory. From Nelson's Life of Bishop Bull the 
following particulars of his career are mainly taken : — 

George Bull came of a family of some position, for several 
generations settled at Shapwick, in the county of Somerset. 
The pedigree of the family is recorded in the Visitation of the 
county made in the year 1623. His father, George Bull, was 
the second son of William Bull, the head of the family at the 
period of the Visitation. William Bull had a family of no less 
than ten sons and eight daughters. In consequence of this 
heavy burden on his resources his second son was put to 
trade, and became a mercer at Wells, where he prospered in 
business, and was twice Mayor of the city. He died at a 
comparatively early age, leaving several daughters, but only 
one son, George, the subject of our memoir, to whom he 
bequeathed a moderate estate. 

The story of George Bull's schooldays cannot be better 
told than by quoting the account of them which his biographer 
gives : — 

' When he was fit to receive the first rudiments of learn- 

c Z3 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

ing, he was placed in a grammar school at Wells, where he 
continued not long ; but, by the care of his guardians, was to 
great advantage removed to the free school of Tiverton, in 
Devonshire, of the greatest note of any in the West of Eng- 
land. This school was founded by Mr. Peter Blundell, a 
clothier, in the year 1604, with a very good maintenance for 
a schoolmaster and usher, and is not more considerable for 
its liberal endowment than it is for its stately and noble 
structure. . . . 

' Mr. Samuel Butler, the master under whom Mr. Bull 
was educated, was very eminent in his profession, an excellent 
grammarian both for Latin and Greek, diligent in his office, 
and vigilant in his care and observation of his scholars. He 
was recommended to this post by my Lord Chief-Justice 
Popham, who, by the will of the founder, was constituted the 
chief director of everything which related to this free school ; 
and he was so considerable in his employment that, when he 
removed to Tiverton, he brought several gentlemen's sons 
with him, so that he had scholars from many parts of the 
kingdom, and bred several persons, considerable for their 
learning, during the long time he continued master, which was 
about six and thirty years. 

' Mr. Bull, by his great diligence, and by a remarkable 
pregnancy of parts, made a very considerable progress in all 
classical learning, under a person who was so able and so 
willing to instruct him. And it was the usual method of this 
master, when he gave his boys themes for verses, to press 
them to exert themselves and to do their best, because he 
judged how far each boy's capacity would carry him ; but he 
always told George Bull that he expected from him verses like 
those of Ovid ; because, saith he, I know you can do it. 
Sufficiently thereby intimating that his scholar had a capacity 
and genius which enabled him to excel in such exercises. And 
we may very well suppose that the master took no small pains 
in cultivating such a good soil, and that the scholar was not 
less observant of the rules and directions which were proposed 
34 



GEORGE BULL 

to him by so able an instructor, when we are assured that Mr. 
Bull was every ways fit for the university before he attained 
the fourteenth year of his age.' i }^f^ ' '" PQ 

On leaving Blundell's he entered as a Commoner at 
Exeter College, Oxford, on the i8th day of July 1648. His 
tutor was Mr. Baldwin Ackland, no doubt a member of the 
well-known Devonshire family of that name. His biographer 
candidly admits that he did not make the best use of his time 
at the University being * overpowered by that love of pleasure 
and diversion which so easily captivate youth when it is not 
upon the guard.' 

Mr. Bull was destined to leave Oxford without taking his 
degree, a fact which probably injuriously affected his prospects 
of advancement in his profession. 

The Church of England was then passing through a time 
of tribulation. In 1643 the Parliament had accepted the 
Solemn League and Covenant, thereby undertaking to extirpate 
prelacy. The obligation of taking the Covenant had been 
imposed on every person in England above the age of 
eighteen. A few years later the necessity of taking the 
Covenant was abolished, but in lieu thereof Parliament 
substituted the Engagement, being an oath ' to be true and 
faithful to the Government established without King and 
House of Peers.' 

Before Mr, Bull had been in residence at Oxford two 
years all members of the University were called upon to 
subscribe to the Engagement and thus renounce their loyalty 
to the Royalist cause. Many divines found no difficulty in 
taking this oath under the plea of irresistible necessity, but 
Mr. Bull's principles would not permit him to do so. He 
was therefore required to quit the University, and in company 
with Mr. Ackland he retired to North Cadbury in the county 
of Somerset. The influences by which he was now sur- 
rounded gave a studious tendency to his mind. He remained 
with Mr. Ackland for a period of three or four years, laying 
the foundation of the theological learning for which he was 

3S 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

to become so famous. Subsequently he resided for two years 
with the Rev. William Thomas, Rector of Ubley, in the same 
county, still pursuing his theological studies. 

On leaving Mr. Thomas he applied for ordination to 
Dr. Skinner, the ejected Bishop of Oxford, by whom he 
was ordained Deacon and Priest in one day at the unusually 
early age of twenty-one. Shortly after his ordination he 
accepted the living of St. George's near Bristol, a living whose 
emoluments were so small, that he was the more inclined to 
accept it on that account, thinking that the poverty of the 
living would be likely to exempt him from the molestation to 
which the beneficed clergy of the Church of England were then 
so liable. 

The liturgy of the Church of England was at the time 
proscribed, but it is recorded that Mr. Bull, following the 
example of Sanderson and Jeremy Taylor, made use in his 
public ministrations of portions of the Book of Common 
Prayer from memory and with such gravity and devotion that 
the dissenters among his audience regarded them with appro- 
bation as extemporaneous utterances of his own. 

In the year 1658 he married one Bridget Gregory, the 
daughter of the Incumbent of Cirencester, a lady who is 
described as the model of a clergyman's wife, fulfilling in 
all respects the motto engraved on her wedding ring : 
Bene parere parere parare det mihi Deus. 

In the same year he was presented to the Rectory of 
Suddington St. Mary, near Cirencester, and four years after- 
wards he was presented to the adjoining benefice of Sudding- 
ton St. Peter. The combined income of these benefices 
did not exceed one hundred pounds a year. Here he minis- 
tered for twenty-seven years, diligently performing his pastoral 
duties and at the same time still adding to the stores of 
his learning. He does not appear to have been given to any 
kind of recreation, and apart from the duties of his calling, 
theological studies claimed the whole of his attention. He 
expended his means largely in the purchase of books, and once 
36 



GEORGE BULL 

a year it was his custom to visit Oxford for the purpose 
of research in the libraries there. 

In the year 1669 he gave to the world the first fruits 
of his studies, a work entitled Harmonia Apostolica^ wherein 
he attempted to reconcile the teaching of St. Paul with 
that of St. James in reference to justification whether by faith 
or by works. 

The publication of this treatise and the controversy which 
arose thereon established his reputation as a theologian, and 
commended him to the notice of Heneage Finch, afterwards 
Earl of Nottingham, then Chancellor of England, by whom he 
was in 1678 made a Prebendary of Gloucester. 

The controversy to which reference has been made led 
indirectly to the writing of the work on which his reputation 
chiefly rests. His advocacy of the necessity of good works 
caused his adversaries to insinuate that he was a Socinian. 
To vindicate himself from this charge he wrote his well- 
known Defensio Fidei Nicaenae, wherein he investigated with 
great learning the opinions of the fathers of the first three 
centuries of the Christian Church on the doctrine of the 
Trinity, and confirmed by their testimony the clauses of the 
Nicene Creed. This work has been described as one of 
the greatest if not the greatest contribution to theological 
learning which has been made by the Church of England. 
Its publication enhanced the great reputation which Mr. Bull 
had already achieved, and that not in England only but abroad. 
Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, one of the most distinguished of 
the orators and prelates of the Church in France, quoted it 
in support of his own arguments against a literary antagonist 
in terms of high eulogy. 

A work of such importance received with such appro- 
bation naturally led to preferment. In the same year as saw 
the publication of the Defensio Fidei Nicaenae Mr. Bull was 
presented to the Rectory of Avening in the County of Glou- 
cester. In the following year he was made Archdeacon of 
LlandafF by Archbishop Sancroft. The same year, in recog- 

37 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

nition of the great services which he had rendered to the 
Church, the University of Oxford conferred upon him the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity. 

In 1694 he published his Judicium Ecdesiae Catholicae, 
the last of his three great Latin treatises and in the nature of a 
supplement to the two former, being a complete account of 
the heresies of the first three centuries and a defence of the 
Anathema which was pronounced against them by the Council 
of Nice. 

A copy of this work was sent to Bossuet and delivered to 
him while he was at St. Germains in attendance at a General 
Assembly of the Clergy of France. He was so much struck 
by the work that he recommended it to the attention of the 
Assembly, whose approbation it won to such an extent that 
Bossuet was authorised to convey to the author the congratu- 
lations of the Assembly ' for the great service which he had 
done to the Catholic Church in so well defending her deter- 
mination of the necessity of believing the Divinity of the Son 
of God.' 

The preferment which he had so far obtained in the 
Church appears scarcely commensurate with his great merits, 
and it is strange that further promotion was so long deferred. 
At length, however, recognition came. 

In the year 1705 he was offered the Bishopric of St. 
David's, It is said that he himself was unwilling to accept 
this dignity, but was prevailed upon by his friends and by 
men of influence in the Church. He was consecrated Bishop 
in Lambeth Chapel on the 29th April 1705. The episcopal 
palace at Aberguilly being much out of repair, he took up his 
abode at Brecknock. He appears to have constantly resided 
in his diocese and to have been zealous in the performance of 
the duties of his high office in spite of the burden of years and 
failing health ; but it is upon his eminence as a theologian 
rather than as a Bishop that his fame rests. 

He was already seventy-one years of age when he was 
appointed to the See, and his tenure was not a long one, for 
38 



GEORGE BULL 

he died on the 17th February 1709. He was buried at 
Brecknock, and over his grave was placed a plain stone with 
the following inscription, whose simplicity is in pleasing contrast 
to the grandiloquence so often found on the monuments of 
that period : — 

HERE LIETH 
THE RIGHT REVEREND FATHER IN GOD 

Dr. GEORGE BULL 

LATE BISHOP OF THIS DIOCESE 

WHO WAS EXCELLENTLY LEARNED 

PIOUS AND CHARITABLE 

AND WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE 

FEBRUARY THE I JTH, I709 

AGED 75. 



39 



SAMUEL WESLEY 

SAMUEL WESLEY, descendant of a long line of ' gentle- 
men and scholars ' in Devon and Somerset, was born 
in London on February lo, 1691. 

His father. Rev. Samuel Wesley, was a very remarkable 
man himself, though the extraordinary celebrity of his sons 
has rather obscured his fame. He had begun life as a dis- 
senter ; but, having reasoned himself into the belief that 
Nonconformity was a mistake, he took orders after a career 
as a ' poor scholar ' of Exeter College, Oxford, and obtained 
a London curacy worth £2'^ a year. There he met and 
married Susanna Annesley, a woman in her way quite as re- 
markable as her husband. She was one of a large family — 
Dr. Annesley was never quite sure whether his children num- 
bered a couple of dozen or a quarter of a hundred — and, at 
the early age of thirteen, had mastered the ecclesiastical con- 
troversy of the day, and decided for the Church. Probably 
had her father been a churchman she would have been a 
dissenter. Boys usually reproduce the characteristics of their 
mother ; and, in the Wesley family, Susanna's energy and 
grasp of mind were very visible in Samuel and his illustrious 
brother John. 

A year after the birth of his son Dr. Wesley was appointed 
to the rectory of Epworth, an obscure corner of Lincolnshire, 
and there he spent the remaining forty years of his life. 
Owing to the extraordinary celebrity of his sons — Samuel 
was the eldest of nineteen children — it is easy to gain a close 
insight into the family life. Great intellectual activity was a 
characteristic of all the Wesleys. Their father strove to 
augment his tiny income by writing verse or prose, epigram 
40 



SAMUEL WESLEY 

or epithet ; Indeed, his life was one long struggle against 
poverty. He was also, unhappily, constantly in debt, and so 
little in touch with his rough parishioners, that they were 
strongly suspected of setting fire to the rectory on the historic 
occasion when John Wesley, then a little boy, was just 
snatched from the flames. The education of a family in the 
country was no easy matter in those days, but Mrs. Wesley 
faced the problem with sound common-sense, and taught her 
family herself. For twenty years, except for a few unavoid- 
able interruptions, she kept school with all the rigour of 
eighteenth-century discipline. When the child was one year 
old he was taught to fear the rod and to cry low. Only 
three meals a day were allowed, and eating and drinking 
between them were strictly forbidden. The children were not 
even allowed to call each other by name without the addition 
of sister or brother. None of them was taught to read till 
five years old, and then only one day was allowed to learn 
the letters of the alphabet, great and small. 

Of Samuel himself, the story goes that he did not talk at 
all till he was four, to his mother's great anxiety, which was, 
however, relieved in the following way. The little fellow was 
very fond of playing with the cat, and one day, cat and boy 
having disappeared, search was everywhere made in vain. At 
last, from under the table came a voice : ' Here I am, mother ' ; 
and, holding the cat in his arms, Samuel emerged. From 
that day he talked freely, his mental growth was equally rapid, 
and in his twelfth year he was elected a king's scholar at 
Westminster school, then at the height of the reputation 
which the great Dr. Besby had won for it. That redoubtable 
pedagogue had, during the forty years of his headmastership, 
by his physical and i'ntellectual activity, turned out more 
eminent men than any other schoolmaster ; and, though he 
himself had gone, his name — and, it may be added, his 
methods — remained. Probably Wesley had a good voice, as 
the scholars were usually choristers at the Chapel Royal ; at any 
rate, he attracted the notice of Dr. Spratt, the learned Bishop 

41 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

of Rochester, who, much to the boy's disgust, as expressed in 
his letters home, would take him out of school and away from 
his lessons, in order to have the pleasure of hearing him read 
aloud. 

In 171 1 Wesley entered Christ Church, Oxford, where 
he attracted the notice of the Dean, the brilliant but shallow 
Dr. Atterbury, and was soon regarded as one of the best 
scholars of the day. This important patronage at first pro- 
mised preferment, and finally shut it out, for Wesley was, all 
through his life, devoted to Atterbury, a mischief- making 
man, deeply involved in the Tory plots for upsetting the Act 
of Succession. Atterbury it was who offered, on the unex- 
pected death of Queen Anne, to go forth in full canonicals 
and proclaim King James iii. But though the daring plan 
fell through, he continued to be a focus of plots against 
George i. until his trial and banishment in 1723. It must 
be admitted that Atterbury abundantly justified his exile by 
paying open court to the Pretender, who first patronised and 
then neglected him. Wesley, however, believed him thorough 
and true, and to the last loyally defended his old friend. 

Returning to London in 17 14, as usher at his old school, 
he became the intimate friend of Harley, Pope, Dean Swift, 
and other celebrities of the day. His biting satires against 
Walpole and the Whigs must only be judged by the standpoint 
of an age in which every kind of missile, from defamation of 
character to personal insult, was permissible in political warfare. 
With Harley he was on terms of close friendship ; and as 
often as he dined at his house, was called upon, as custom 
commanded, to ' tip ' the flunkeys. At last, after being often 
fleeced, Wesley proposed a composition : * My friends, I must 
make an agreement with you suited to my purse ; I shall dis- 
tribute so much and no more.' This reached Lord Oxford's 
ears, and orders came to the footmen not to expect any rates 
from Mr. Wesley. 

In 1 71 5 Wesley married Miss Berry, the daughter of a 
clergyman, and he has sung her praises in many a charming 
42 



SAMUEL WESLEY 

poem. After describing her hair and skin, which 'are as the 
Berry brown, her stature and her hazel eyes,' he continues : — 

* But greater beauties to her mind belong ; 
Well can she speak, and wisely hold her tongue, 
In her, plain sense and humble sweetness meet, 
Though gay, religious, and, though young, discreet. 
Such is the maid, if I can judge aright, 
If love or favour hinder not my sight.' 

After marriage he was as much in love with his wife as 
before, and still wrote poetry about his ' Nutty.' She was a 
woman of tact ; and, though he was accustomed to boast of 
his authority as a husband, yet she had sense enough to rule 
under the appearance of submission. 

* She made her little wisdom go 
Further than wiser women do.' 

His life at Westminster was very much that of school- 
masters of any century, and it is in his poems that the best 
record of an uneventful career is to be found. In 171 6 he had 
welcomed his youngest brother, Charles, to Westminster — 
John was already at Charterhouse — and to them, and indeed 
to the whole family, he acted as a second father. 

At one time he was active promoter of the first infirmary 
set up in Westminster for the relief of the sick and needy, 
and had the satisfaction of seeing it flourish. At another, his 
sympathy with the suffering of prisoners found expression in 
a strong poem entitled, ' The Prisons Opened,' in praise of 
the House of Commons Committee, which inquired in 1728 
into the state of gaols. The poem is inscribed to his friend, 
J. Oglethorpe, the chairman of that committee, and the follow- 
ing forcible lines indicate its general tenour : — 

' Incarnate fiends for torturing shackles call. 
Except the captive yields them more than all ; 
In prison within prison stalled he lies. 
And keepers, underkeepers tyrannise. 

43 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

With weighty fetters gall'd the sufferers groan, 
Or close screw'd rivets crack the solid bone ; 
Their only bed dank, earth unpaved and bare, 
Their only covering is the chains they wear.' 

James Thomson, in The Seasons^ also praised this com- 
mittee ; indeed, the results of the inquiry were so horrible 
that they produced a universal cry of indignation, and Wesley's 
strong lines did not overstate the case. His chief friend was 
Vincent Bourne, a brilliant but eccentric man, whose greasy 
locks the young Duke of Richmond once set fire to, and then 
boxed his ears to put it out again. In 1 73 1 Wesley lost his only 
son, and his father's curious letter of sympathy, in which, after 
a few sentences, he leaves the bereavement and wanders on to 
other matters, shows that the old rector of Epworth's mental 
powers were beginning to fail. 

In the next year there were changes in the staff at West- 
minster, and it might have been expected after nearly twenty 
years' experience a man of such brilliant parts would have 
been appointed to the undermastership. But Wesley's Tory 
rhymes had been too caustic, his devotion to Atterbury too 
single-hearted ; he vv^as simply left out in the cold. The 
' Verses written under Disappointment ' reveal how deeply 
Wesley felt being passed over, but Westminster's loss was 
Blundell's gain ; for a year later, through the influence of the 
Earl of Oxford, he was appointed Headmaster. 

Now it is difficult to unite with any degree of certainty 
the story of Wesley's life at Tiverton. Shortly after his 
appointment, his father, feeling his end approaching, wished 
to resign his living in favour of his son, ' provided you make 
an interest to have it in my room.' But this he declined to 
do, as did also his illustrious brother John, who, far from 
feeling drawn towards Wroote, ' a damp and uninviting spot,' 
refused to leave Oxford, where, as fellow of Lincoln's College, 
he was forming the little society which was destined to be the 
nucleus of the Methodist movement. 

The new Headmaster was, both in point of scholarship and 
44 



SAMUEL WESLEY 

experience, well qualified for the post, and at first all went 
well. The numbers of the school went up forty in one year ; 
and Wesley, describing his life in a poem addressed to his 
friend, Mr. Davy, admits : — 

* How happy glides my life away, 
I almost am afraid to say.' 

The scenery, too, and his house at Old Blundell's, charmed 
him : — 

* Without are beauteous prospects seen, 
Gardens and river, hills and green ; 
Within, my books at will supply 
Delightful, useful company.' 

And, lastly, the change to the bland air of Devon was, for 
the time, beneficial to a man whose health had been impaired 
by hard work at Westminster, until new duties ' wound a 
fresh chain of toil around this willing worker.' 

But it is evident that he did not long keep in touch with 
Tiverton ; for, two years later, writing to his brother Charles, 
then in America, he complains : ' I am in a desert, as well 
as you, having no conversable creature but my wife, till my 
mother came last week.' This was in September 1736, when 
the rector being dead, and the old home at Epworth broken 
up, Mrs. Wesley came to live at Blundell's with her son, his 
wife, and her mother. 

Dunsford, in his history of Tiverton, admits that ' different 
parties have given this master a very different character, by 
one he is represented to have been scrupulously conscientious, 
of great integrity and benevolence, and to have possessed a 
pleasing simplicity of manners ; by others as rigorous, haughty, 
unsocial, and bigotted,' Nor is it easy to conjecture why, in 
a poem entitled ' Tiverton,' published a few years later, 
Wesley's name is an exception to the kindly tone in which 
some of the masters are introduced : — 

* Wesley alone (curst with excessive pride), 
Wesley alone shall want me for a guide ; 

45 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

To him I leave dry puns in scales to prize, 
And wield the birch, the terror of the boys.' 

The probability is that Wesley, not in good health, with 
many anxieties, as will presently be shown, on his mind, was 
not likely to be popular with the slow-witted country squires 
amongst whom he lived. His health made him irritable ; 
targets for the arrows of his sarcastic wit there were in plenty ; 
and, to crown all, he raised the school fees. 

He himself was quite frank on this point : — 

' I 've alarmed the country round 
By raising board to twenty pound, 
Huge provocation, I confess, 
So great it never will be less. 
Poor Saunders drudged incessant here 
The longer part of twenty year. 
What riches did his kindred find ? 
He left his victor plate behind. 
Full thirty years has Rayner stay'd, 
Rayner, oft praised, but never paid ! 
His boarders though so gainful thought, 
Cost hundreds more than ere they brought.' 

And he goes on to say that had he been prepared to lose 
like these and ' spend on my gentry every groat,' he would be 
' owned as the rarest master ever known.' 

Wesley, indeed, was far from being a rich man. Towards 
his family he was always generous ; through him, principally, 
John and Charles were maintained at Oxford, and whenever — 
and this was not seldom — financial trouble at Epworth became 
acute, his was the purse that had been emptied to aid the 
embarrassed family at the rectory. But, reading between the 
lines of his ' Character of a Perfect Schoolmaster,' 1737, some 
at least of the causes of his unpopularity are not far to 

seek : — 

' I '11 try to draw in little, here, 
A perfect master's character, 
Admired, applauded — you '11 descry 
At the first sight it is not I. 
46 



SAMUEL WESLEY 

His speech is frequent, warm and large, 
About the importance of his charge. 
The nation's good depends on this 
As well as town's and families. 
What virtues must the instructor share 
Who such a burden knows to bear. 
Here let him shrug his sides, and make 
As if he felt his shoulders ache, 
This arduous task to undergo ; 
He asks advice of high and low, 
With meekness and attention hears 
Sisters and aunts and grandmothers ; 
Nay, with soft smile and accent mild, 
Inquires the temper of the child 
Who best by kindness will be led. 
Then chucks the chin and strokes the head. 
Distinction nice he still can make 
For parent's and for fortunes' sake 
One must be favoured and so forth 
Because his friends are men of worth.' 

Wesley is not the only schoolmaster whose independence 
of spirit has been mistaken for ' excessive pride,' nor the only 
Blundell's master whose inability to practise the gentle arts of 
touting and flattery has resulted in loss of popularity. 

Equally delightful are his views on corporal punishment : — 

* He grieves that custom over-rules 
And keeps that whipping up in schools. 
Let wicked rods be thrown aside 
And canes or ferrules applied, 
Or let each schoolmaster invent 
Some more ingenuous punishment. 
For, doubtless in bare skins to deal 
Appears but coarse and ungenteel. 
He never could be reconciled 
To " Spare the rod and spoil the child." ' 

Wesley, if report be true, taught as Busby taught and 
flogged as Busby flogged, and it is pretty certain that the 
methods of that irascible pedagogue as applied to Blundell's 
did not add to his popularity. 

47 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Temptation to further quotation must be resisted, but the 
author goes on to describe the touting schoolmaster : — 

< Who spreads his glory far and wide 
At least as far as he can ride.' 

Skilful he is too at making out his young geese swans : — 

' That Latin by a child was made 
Of seven years old, without his aid : 
A spirit in this verse is seen 
Beyond the standard of fourteen. 
This declamation scarce you '11 see 
Excelled at University. 
And all this by themselves was done ? 
O ! that you may depend upon.' 

But Wesley was something more than a facile writer of 
satirical verse. Many of his poems flash with the purest 
poetic fire, others are marked by strong common sense and 
others, again, by severe invective. Southey in his Specimens 
of Later English Poets made mention and gave examples 
from his works, while Dr. Johnson in the grammar prefixed 
to his dictionary has given a quotation from him as the best 
specimen of a certain kind of poetry. It is the well-known 
' Epitaph on an Infant.' 

In the preface to the first edition of his works, published 
in 1736, Wesley admits frankly that they were published not 
for their excellence but ' for the profit proposed by the sub- 
scription.' But in this he fails to do himself justice, for the 
verse though strong is easy and flowing, possessing a singular 
mixture of the styles of Dryden and Prior. After his death a 
larger edition appeared, followed nearly a century later by a 
pocket edition to which was prefixed a short sketch of his 
life. 

It has been said that at Tiverton Wesley had many 

anxieties, not the least among them being the long controversy 

with his brother John. With the new movement which the 

younger brother set on foot the elder had not the least sym- 

48 



SAMUEL WESLEY 

pathy. The strange wave of excitement that broke over men's 
souls and bodies at the preaching of his brothers alarmed him. 
He had no sympathy with those who saw visions and dreamed 
dreams, and in his anger he wished ' those canting fellows,' as 
he calls the Moravians, ^ had been somewhere else.' John 
tried to convince his brother of the truth of the new doctrines, 
but he was hardly likely to succeed with Samuel, who was 
thirteen years older, and had hitherto considered his brother 
as a son rather than as a brother. 

The correspondence between the brothers is sharp and 
abrupt, though always amicable. With blunt outspokenness, 
a characteristic of all the family, he acknowledges the receipt 
of one of his brother's publications — ' There are two flagrant 
falsehoods in the very first chapter. But your eyes are so 
fixed upon one point that you overlook everything else. You 
overshoot, but Whitfield raves.' 

Later on he felt it his duty to warn his aged mother 
against what he thought the delusions of her younger sons. 
' It was with exceeding grief and concern that I heard you 
had countenanced a spreading delusion so far as to be one of 
John's congregation. Is it not enough that I am bereft of 
both my brothers but must my mother follow too.'' ' 

This hot controversy occupied Samuel fully during the 
last year of his life, but in the last letter of the series the 
bitterness of the contention abated, partly by reason of his 
illness. Whether John Wesley ever stayed with his brother 
at Old Blundell's is uncertain, though Charles, the younger 
brother, was a visitor there on his return from Georgia in 1737, 
but later on the tireless activity of the great preacher brought 
him twice to Tiverton; his second visit in 1751, curiously 
enough, at a time when there happened to be a great gathering 
at Blundell's, with the result that he was severely mobbed by 
the gentlemen's servants loitering about the town. 

The lingering illness from which he suffered was not of a 
nature to prevent him working ; indeed he appears to have 
been in school up to the last day of his life. In the autumn 

D 49 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

of 1739 he declares himself ' on the mending hand in spite of 
foul weather,' but the end was nearer than he thought, for on 
November 6, very early in the morning, he was seized with 
an illness to which four hours later he succumbed. 

John and Charles hastened to Tiverton, remaining there 
to see their brother buried in St. George's churchyard, where 
the curious may still read his epitaph on a mural tablet. 

He died in his fiftieth year. His portrait in the big school- 
room shows him to have had a thorough Wesley face, framed 
in long, flowing, curly, black hair. His eyes were small and 
quick, his features prominent, he was less handsome than his 
brother John, but manly and intellectual. Had he lived 
longer his strong personality would, there is little reason to 
doubt, have left its mark on the school, for the masterful 
Wesley spirit was his. As it is, he is interesting as a man, as 
a poet, and most of all because, though indirectly, he brought 
Blundell's into touch with that great religious movement that 
bears his brothers' name. 



SO 



JOHN CONYBEARE 

BLUNDELL'S must share with Exeter Grammar School 
the honour of having educated John Conybeare, some- 
time Bishop of Bristol, and one of the most notable 
theologians of the eighteenth century. He was born on 
January 31, 1692, at Pinhoe, near Exeter, of which village his 
father was vicar. Eleven years later, on November 26, 1703, 
the night of the * great storm ' which filled England with terror 
and produced widespread distress, Mr. Conybeare contracted 
a disorder from which he eventually died, just before his son, 
then in his seventeenth year, was about to enter at Exeter 
College, Oxford. Admitted a ' Battler ' of that foundation in 
1708, young Conybeare was 'chum' of, and shared rooms 
with, R. Harding, afterwards Fellow of Exeter and Rector of 
Marwood till he was almost a hundred years old. 

The boy must have impressed the College with his powers 
very early, for he was elected a Probationary Fellow in 17 10, 
though he was, very possibly, proposed as a candidate only, with 
the view of recommending him to future notice. But such 
was the sense entertained of his great merit that he was im- 
mediately elected, though only in his twentieth year at the time. 
In 1 713 he took his B.A. degree, was appointed a year later 
Praslector or Moderator in Philosophy. 

On May 27, 17 16, he was ordained priest at the hands 
of the Bishop of Winchester, Sir Jonathan Trelawney, the 
best remembered, perhaps, next to Bishop Ken, of the seven 
bishops who, nearly thirty years earlier, by refusing to read 
the Declaration of Indulgence, had helped to make English 
History. In that same year Conybeare, naturally delicate, 
was suffering from overwork, and took a curacy in Surrey, 

51 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

where he remained for about a year. On his return to 
Oxford his fame as a preacher rapidly grew, till St. Mary's 
Church was scarcely ever so crowded as when Conybeare 
preached. A sermon before the University on the * Nature 
of Miracles' in 1722 actually ran through four editions, 
while the skill of the discourse attracted the notice of 
that courtly prelate, the Bishop of London, through whose 
influence he was appointed Whitehall Preacher. The small 
living of St. Clement's, Oxford, was given him shortly before 
he served his year of office as Senior Proctor, 1725. 

Taking his B.D. degree in 1 728, he proceeded in due course 
to his D.D., having, in the meantime, published several remark- 
able sermons. One of these, preached before the Lord Mayor 
and aldermen, was dedicated to Bishop Talbot of Durham, 
father of the Solicitor-General, to whose two sons Conybeare 
had been tutor. Advancement seemed certain, but, unluckily, 
Talbot died, and not till twenty years later was preferment 
beyond the limits of his University extended to Conybeare. In 
1730 he was elected Rector of Exeter College, and effected 
many reforms during his short rule there by putting a stop to 
the sale of servants' places and restoring a regular course of 
lectures. Those were the days when, by common consent, the 
intellectual life of Oxford was at the lowest, and Exeter College 
was no exception to illustrate the rule of general slackness. 
But the rector soon found other work to hand, for in that 
same year Tindal's famous Deistical book entitled Christianity 
as Old as Creation caused such great scandal and excitement 
that it drew the ablest divines, amongst others, Conybeare, 
to vindicate orthodoxy. His Defence of Revealed Religion, 
written at the suggestion of his patron. Bishop Gibson, and 
published in 1732, gained great celebrity; in the words of 
his biographer it * performed an eminent service to the cause 
of Christianity.' 

In spite of Conybeare's fears that he had not succeeded 
owing to interruptions and bad health, which * may excuse the 
author but detract from the performance,' the work was very 
52 



JOHN CONYBEARE 

well received. Bishop Warburton, that most learned of 
Churchmen, who, on occasion, was by no means sparing of 
abuse, styled it one of the best reasoned books in the world, 
and it was, doubtless, a very able vindication of revealed 
religion ; for temper and candour it stands easily first among 
the four best answers to Tindal's heretical book. 

Conybeare was not a rich man ; indeed, as Fellow and Tutor 
he had been better off than as Rector, and again the Bishop of 
London exerted himself in his interest. He was so far 
successful that on the death of Dr. Bradshaw, Bishop of 
Bristol and Dean of Christ Church, 1732, Conybeare, at the 
age of forty, was elected to the latter office. A few months 
after his installation as Dean he entertained the Prince of 
Orange, who had come to England in order to marry the 
Princess Royal, and * how solicitous the Dean was to treat his 
illustrious guest with proper splendour and dignity ' appears 
from his having received the especial thanks of Queen 
Caroline. 

A few years later he had the intention of writing an answer 
to Morgan's Deistical work. The Moral Philosopher^ but the 
work was left to other hands, Conybeare expressing the pious 
hope ' that none of his animadverters would be provoked to 
imitate his scurrilities,' a remark which, though to the honour 
of his temper, was little likely to be realised in those days of 
learned and vindictive satire. 

As he was so young when appointed Dean of Christ 
Church he might reasonably have been expected to rise 
higher, but the Lord Chancellor Talbot died in 1737, and, 
still greater misfortune, his good friend the Bishop of London, 
having annoyed Walpole by opposing the Quaker's Bill, lost 
all his influence at Court. Bishop Gibson at one time had been 
consulted by Walpole on all Church matters. He was called 
heir-apparent of Canterbury, and one of the triumvirate, the 
firm of three by whom England was governed — Townshend, 
Walpole, and Gibson. Moreover, he had offended George 11. 
by preaching against masquerades, the King's favourite amuse- 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

ment, so that in the matter of preferment Conybeare could look 
to no help from him. 

At last, however, in 1750, on the translation of Dr. Butler 
to Durham, Conybeare was appointed Bishop of Bristol. It 
may be that a great sermon which he had preached before the 
House of Commons a year previously, at a solemn thanksgiving 
for the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, brought his name once more 
into notice. The subject, ' True Patriotism,' from the text, 
* Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,' was indeed handled with 
masterly skill, and is one of the few sermons that can be read 
with interest to-day. It was a graceful compliment on the part 
of his old college that the sermon at the Bishop's consecration 
was preached by his old friend, Dr. Webber, the newly appointed 
Rector of Exeter College. 

The Bishopric ' enlarged his sphere of usefulness, but was 
injurious to his private fortune ' — to borrow the formal phrase 
of his time ; for the slender revenues of Bristol were unequal to 
a residence in that place and also in London. It is not quite 
clear how he remained head of a college at the same time that 
he was bishop of a diocese ; but apparently, in those days of 
pluralities, there was nothing unusual in such a combination, 
as his predecessor at Christ Church had held both offices 
simultaneously. 

His popularity as a preacher was now greater than ever. 
Before the Lord Mayor he preached on the virtue of being 
merciful, a quality none too prominent in that age. Before the 
House of Lords he held forth on ' Civil Government,' while 
another of his sermons was in favour of ' Irish Protestant 
Schools.' His discourses, it is said, were not vague declama- 
tory essays, but judicious and solid compositions in which 
questions of the day were discussed with great clearness of 
method and language. Such was the opinion of his own age, 
but modern criticism, while admitting that Conybeare was a 
temperate and able writer, 'finds little in his works to distinguish 
them from expositions of the same argument by other con- 
temporary divines of average type.' Allowing a broad margin 
54 



JOHN CONYBEARE 

for the difference of taste and standpoint, it may be gathered 
that Conybeare was a man of conspicuous mental power, clear 
in his reasoning, temperate and philosophic in tone. Afflicted 
with gout, he was through almost all his episcopate disabled, 
and in no condition to fulfil the high hopes which had been 
formed of his accession to the bench. ' I rejoice,' said 
Berkeley, * in his promotion. His writings and character 
raise him high in my esteem.' Like his friend, Bishop 
Hayter, he vainly tried to regain health by visits to various 
watering-places, and at one of the most celebrated, Bath, after 
a lingering illness, he died on July 13, 1755. Buried in the 
Cathedral Church of Bristol, a long Latin inscription enume- 
rates the list of his virtues, not the least among them being 
the fact that he confounded the enemies of Christianity. He 
died poor, leaving behind a son, who afterwards became 
famous himself, and the father and grandfather of eminent 
geologists and divines. His two daughters published, by 
subscription, their father's sermons, with the result that either 
because he had been Dean of Christ Church for twenty-two 
years, or from estimation of his abilities and disinterestedness 
of character, no fewer than 4600 names appear on the list. 
The volume of sermons was brought out in 1757, and was 
dedicated by the younger daughter to George 11. ; a pension 
of j^ 1 00 a year was granted to her shortly afterwards. 

His friendship for Hayter has been mentioned ; another 
of his friends was Bishop Seeker, a model preacher, not only 
for the subject-matter, but also for the manner in which it was 
delivered. 

• Speak, look, and move with dignity and ease, 
Like mitred Seeker, you '11 be sure to please.' 

When Seeker entered Exeter College as a gentleman- 
commoner, Conybeare was appointed his tutor, and the friend- 
ship thus formed lasted for life. Conybeare, like other 
divines of the time, was candid in his sentiments and friendly 
towards Protestant dissenters, though in the age that followed 

S5 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

there was very little of the same kind of intimacy. He even 
wrote letters to G. Benson, a learned Nonconformist minister, 
at the time of the scandal produced by Morgan's Moral 
Philosopher. ' I have the less occasion to hurry,' he says, 
' after so many things have been well observed by my old 

schoolfellow, Mr. H . And I cannot but persuade myself 

there is so much virtue still left in the world as will induce 
the Deists at length to give up a cause which cannot be main- 
tained but by a violation of everything decent and humane.* 
And in another place he remarks : ' I take pleasure in observing 
that many of our most eminent Dissenters, instead of en- 
deavouring to widen the breach which still subsists between 
them and the Established Church, join with us either in the 
common defence of our faith, or in using their endeavours to 
explain, in a learned way, the sacred records.' 

It was this attitude of conciliatory calmness that kept him 
out of the embittered controversies of the time, and only in 
Calumny Refuted, an answer to a personal slander of Dr. R. 
Newton, who was endeavouring in 1735 ^^ obtain a charter 
for Hart Hall, a place opposed by Conybeare, are there 
any signs of the dispute at issue becoming a personal one. 
What a change from the over-excited churchmanship of Queen 
Anne's reign that had carried with it a virulent spirit of con- 
troversy ! Thirty years later the reaction had come, and men, 
above all things, dreaded enthusiasm. Conybeare was a typical 
man of his age, a philosopher, a lover of wisdom, who disdained 
to submit his reason to the prejudices of custom, of interest, or 
of passion ; a sound Churchman — as Churchmen went then — 
a conscientious worker, and a good man. 



J6 



,f'^ -^^-kt- 



-fX'. 



Kpfj^l 







Bamfylde Moore Carew. 



BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW 

THE KING OF THE GYPSIES 

' A MONG the great variety of characters which a history 
/-% of human nature would exhibit, there are some which 
would deserve attention, not for any eminence in 
virtue on the one hand, or uncommon depravity of mind 
on the other, but for a certain eccentricity of conduct, which, 
with the same advantages in life, no other person, perhaps, 
would imitate.' 

It is this cumbersome sentence which opens the published 
Life and Adventures of Bamfylde Moore Carew, and, despite its 
clumsiness, it has been chosen to stand at the head of the 
following memoir. For in these words the keynote of his 
character is struck ; there was born in him that sacred germ 
which, defined above by the old writer as 'eccentricity,' cannot, 
when viewed by modern light, be denied the word genius. 

With no more suitable training for such a life than that 
afforded by a public school education, this extraordinary man 
elected to throw in his lot with the gypsies, and, as is v/ell 
known, rose to be their king. He travelled not only over 
the greater part of Europe, but also twice journeyed to 
America ; and after a life crammed with interest and ad- 
venture, finally retired to enjoy a well-earned rest in the west 
country. He was a man of great courage, unrivalled im- 
pudence ; and appears to have been a master of the art 
of disguise, rarely equalled. Without doubt, such a man 
* deserves attention.' 

Bamfylde Moore Carew, the King of the Gypsies, was born 
in 1693 at Bickley, near Tiverton, where his father, the Rev. 

57 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Theodore Carew, was rector. History, or tradition, relates 
that the ceremony of his baptism was attended with unusual 
pomp and circumstance. His godfathers, Hugh Bamfylde 
and Major Moore, eagerly contested for the honour of giving 
him his * first name ' ; the spin of a coin finally settled the 
matter, and the names became famous in their present well- 
known order. Carew was educated, says the old chronicler, 
* in a tender and pious manner,' and in 1705, at the age of 
twelve, was sent to Blundell's, where the Rev. W. Rayner was 
at that time headmaster. Details of his school life are, un- 
happily, somewhat scarce ; but doubtless he must have given 
some indications of the great future that lay before him. At 
any rate, we know that he was distinguished for a * remarkable 
cheering halloo to the dogs,' and for the possession of a secret 
method of enticing anybody else's dog to follow him. For 
four years he worked hard, and ' actually made a very con- 
siderable progress in the Latin and Greek languages. (This 
progress proved unusually useful to him in after life — a tag 
of Latin adding artistic verisimilitude to many of his imper- 
sonations.) His friends were delighted with him, and had 
hopes that he might adopt some ' honourable profession.' Had 
he done so, we cannot doubt that he would have made himself 
a reputation ; but Carew needed a larger canvas for his strange 
and subtle genius. Accordingly he left Blundell's and joined a 
band of gypsies who were in the neighbourhood of Tiverton ; 
less, one must believe, to escape the consequences of some 
trespassing scrape and an unwise use of the ' remarkable cheer- 
ing halloo,' than from a desire to gain among the gypsies that 
freedom of living he felt to be necessary to his development. 
This was a bold stroke, but one justified by its success. Among 
his new companions his courage, resource, wit, and cunning 
soon won him high favour. With Carew, and probably under 
his influence, went two or three other Blundellians, of whom 
the names Thomas Coleman of Gornhay, Tiverton, and John 
Escott have been recorded, and occur not seldom in the 
memoir of Carew. 
58 



BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW 

For a year and a half Carew remained with the gypsies ; 
then, feeling that he had served his apprenticeship, he returned 
to his father's house at Bickley, where he had been given up 
for dead. 'Joy gushed out in full streams,' says Carew's 
biographer, * stopping the power of speech.' His return was 
the signal for public rejoicings ; the bells were rung, the parish 
was publicly feasted. But Carew had tasted the freedom of a 
wanderer's life, the wind called to his blood, and the four walls 
of his father's house seemed strange to him. For a long time 
he struggled, but he was fighting an unequal fight. An irresist- 
ible fascination drew him one day to Brick House, where 
first he had joined the gypsies ; they were there, waiting for 
him, and from this time he was never to leave them until 
his final retirement in middle age. 

In a very few years Carew's name was famous through the 
length and breadth of the country ; partly, perhaps, because 
it seemed strange that a man of good family should choose so 
free a life, but more because of the daring and originality of 
the man's various schemes in the cause of his Brotherhood. 
His facility of disguise appears to have been marvellous ; he 
was able to impose on those who had known him all his life. 
He would appear, now as a shipwrecked sailor, now as a 
miller whose mill had been destroyed by fire, now as a clergy- 
man who had resigned his living for a scruple of conscience 
about the oath to the Government. On one occasion he 
appeared to some friends three successive times in three 
different disguises, obtaining money from them each time. 
His third disguise, as an old widow with three infant grand- 
children, whose other relations had been burnt at the Crediton 
fire, drew from one of the bystanders the well-known remark 
that ' more money had been collected for Kirton than ever 
Kirton was worth.' This gentleman, however, contributed a 
shilling, and the others rewarded Carew liberally. As soon as 
he had thanked them suitably, and was a few paces from them, 
he startled them with his ' cheering halloo,' collected the guinea 
he had wagered on the success of his disguises, and was gone. 

59 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

So Carew begged and jested his way over the greater part 
of Europe. If some of the stories told of him do not exactly 
redound to his credit, at all events they show him as the 
possessor of a healthy fund of high spirits. Misfortune 
seemed never to damp him ; in his darkest hours he retained 
' the mastery of his fate,' ' the captaincy of his soul.' Very 
many attempts were made by his friends to dissuade him from 
his gypsy wanderings. But Carew was too much in love with 
life to settle down to the foxhunting career of his forefathers. 
At the same time the west country seems always to have been 
more or less his headquarters; he returned to it constantly, 
however far afield his journeyings took him. On one of these 
returns to his native county, he met John Escottat Kingsbridge. 
Escott, it will be remembered, was one of the Blundellians 
who had joined the gypsies with Carew. This time the two 
set sail for Newfoundland, whence Carew visited the fisheries 
off the Grand Banks. It is hardly fanciful to see in Carew 
an early incarnation of the modern journalistic spirit ; as 
surely as the globe-trotter nowadays produces in book form 
his impressions de voyage^ so surely did Carew produce a fresh 
impersonation after his visit to Newfoundland. As soon as 
the wreck or loss of a local vessel was reported, Carew turned 
up in the neighbourhood as the only survivor of the ship in 
question ; his precise account of the fisheries convinced the 
most incredulous, and in consequence his affairs prospered 
exceedingly. 

It was soon after this that Carew met and fell in love with a 
Miss Gray, the daughter of a surgeon at Newcastle. As he was 
undisguised at the time, the impression he made was very favour- 
able. A few objections to his profession on the lady's part were 
soon overruled, and in a very short time it was settled that they 
should go by ship to Dartmouth, thence to Bath, where they 
should be married. This plan was carried out ; whether with the 
consent of the bride's father, or by elopement, does not appear ; 
the latter seems to be the more probable, and would certainly 
be the more in accord with Carevv's disposition and temper. 
60 



BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW 

Some time later came the great event in Carew's life. 
Clause Patch, the old King of the Gypsies, died at a great 
age, and Bamfylde Moore Carew was elected by ballot as his 
successor. How a man who was not of gypsy blood should 
be raised to such high honour no biographer of Carew attempts 
to explain ; but there is no doubt as to the fact itself. The 
only explanation that can be given is that Carew's gifts must 
have impressed his fellow gypsies as deeply and as favourably 
as they did the author of his Life and Adventures, and as they 
do (through the mists of uncertainty and years) the present 
writer. 

The honour that had been done Carew was by no means an 
empty honour ; it carried with it exemption from any active 
work, the king being supported by contributions from the 
community. But this, we may imagine, would not suit a 
man of Carew's mercurial temperament. Accordingly we 
find him as actively employed after his election as before it. 
Indeed, his activity brought him before long into much 
trouble. One day he had the misfortune, while in the guise 
of a crippled beggar, to frighten a certain Justice Leithbridge, 
or his horse, or possibly both, on Hilton Bridge. The matter 
of begging might have been passed over, but this was more 
serious, and in consequence, justice was on the watch for Carew. 
Soon after, he was paying a visit to his friend, Mr. Robert 
Incledon of Barnstaple. He knocked at his door, and inquired 
if Mr. Incledon were at home. ' Certainly,' said his clerk, 
who had opened the door, ' he has been expecting you. Come 
in, Mr. Carew.' Carew entered, and was immediately seized 
and confronted with the same Justice Leithbridge, ' a very 
bitter enemy to the whole community of mendicants.' This 
was questionable hospitality ; but none the less the King of 
the Gypsies was committed for trial at Exeter. 

At the trial, although it seems that he had to appear * loaded 
with chains,' he preserved his usual coolness. He was asked 
in what parts of the world he had travelled, and answered, 
* Denmark, Sweden, Muscovey, France, Spain, Portugal, 

6i 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Newfoundland, Ireland, Wales, and some parts of Scotland.' 
The chairman then told him that he must proceed to a hotter 
country ; he inquired into what climate, and being told Mary- 
land, he said it would save him five pounds for his passage, as 
he was very desirous of seeing that country. At the same time 
he asked by what law he was transported, as he was not accused/ 
of any crime, but to this there seems to have been no answer 
given ; and sentence of banishment for seven years was passed 
upon him. 

Almost as soon as his ship reached Maryland, Carew found 
means to escape into the woods. He was retaken, escaped 
again, and was again recaptured through the treachery of one 
of his friends. After this a heavy iron collar, usually the 
mark of a runaway slave, was made for him ; and as the 
penalty for removing this collar was very severe, his only 
course was to take refuge with a tribe of friendly Indians. 
This he did, was relieved of his awkward decoration, and 
hospitably entertained by the Indian chief. By degrees he 
managed to reach Pennsylvania, where, it is needless to say, 
he passed as an excellent Quaker ; and finally came to New 
York. When at last he reached England it was only to fall 
in danger of a press-gang ; he escaped by pretending to have 
smallpox. 

Carew's return was a triumph ; he visited his friends and 
enemies, and enjoyed the curses of the latter almost as much 
as the congratulations of the former. The gypsies were of 
course overjoyed to see their popular king once more ; and 
Carew returned to the old wandering, unrestrained, irrespon- 
sible life with renewed gusto. Often the stories that are told 
of him bear unmistakable traces of a pure love of mischief as 
mischief, and of that sheer delight in the exercise of his powers 
* for fun ' that marks the artist in Carew. Here is a story 
which has been often quoted of him ; that it may perhaps 
preserve its flavour more fully, it is given in the old author's 
own words : — 

* Soon after this he planned a new design, and put it in 
62 



BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW 

execution, with great success. Dressing himself in a checkered 
shirt, jacket, and trowsers, he goes upon Exeter Quay, and 
with the rough but artless air and behaviour of a sailor, in- 
quired for some of the king's officers, whom he informed 
that he belonged to a vessel lately come from France, which 
had landed a large quantity of run goods, but the captain was 
a rascal, and had used him ill, and d — n his blood if he would 

not He was about to proceed, but the officers, who, 

with greedy ears swallowed all he said, interrupted him by 
taking him into the custom-house, and filling him a bumper of 
cherry-brandy, which, when he had drank, they forced another 
upon him, persuading him to wet the other eye, rightly 
judging that the old proverb, " In wine there is truth," might 
with equal propriety be applied to brandy, and that they 
should have the fuller discovery the more the honest sailor's 
heart was cheered ; but that no provocation should be wanting 
to engage him to speak the truth, they asked him if he wanted 
any money. He with as much art answered very indifferently, 
" No," adding, he scorned to make such a discovery out of a 
mercenary view, but that he was resolved to be revenged of 
his captain. They then ordered him to the sign of The 
Boot, in St. Thomas's, Exeter, whither they soon followed 
him, having first sent Mr. Eastchurch, an exciseman, to ask 
what he would have for dinner, and what liquor he would have 
to drink. A fire was lighted upstairs in a private room, a 
couple of ducks roasted, and full glasses of wine and punch 
went cheerfully round ; they then thrust four guineas into his 
hands, which at first he seemed unwilling to accept of, which 
made them the more pressing. 

' He now began to open his mind with great freedom, gave 
a particular account of the vessel, where they had taken in their 
cargo at France, what it consisted of, the day they sailed, and 
the time they were in the passage, and at last concluded with 
acquainting them they had landed and concealed part of this 
valuable cargo in the outhouses of Squire Mallock, of Cocking- 
ton, and the remainder in those of Squire Cary, of Tor-Abbey 

63 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

(both which houses, upon account of their situation on the sea- 
side, were very noted for such concealments). The officers 
having now got the scent, were, like sagacious hounds, for 
pursuing it forthwith, and thought it proper the sailor should 
accompany them ; but to prevent any suspicion resolved he 
should change his habit. They therefore dressed him in a 
ruffled shirt, a fine suit of broadcloth belonging to the 
collector, and put a gold-laced hat on his head ; then mount- 
ing him on a very fine black mare, away they rode together, 
being in all seven or eight of them ; they that night reached 
Newton-Bushel, where they lay at the Bull ; nothing was 
wanting to make the night jovial. The greatest delicacies 
the town afforded were supplied at their table, the best liquors 
broached for them, and music, with its enlivening charms, 
crowned the banquet : the officers' hearts being quite open 
and cheerful, as they already enjoyed, in imagination, all the 
booty they were to seize on the morrow. Thinking they 
could not do enough for the honest sailor, they inquired if he 
knew anything of accompts, promising, if he did, to get him 
a place in the customs. 

' In the morning, after eating a good hearty breakfast, 
they set forwards for Tor-Abbey, and being arrived in Tor- 
Town, they demanded the constable's assistance, who was 
with the utmost reluctance prevailed upon to accompany them 
in making this search, Squire Cary being a gentleman so 
universally beloved by the whole parish (to whom he always 
behaved as a father), that every one was very backward in 
doing anything to give him the least uneasiness. . . . 

' Being come to the house, they all dismounted, and the 
collector desired the sailor to hold his horse, but he replied he 
would go round the garden and meet them on the other side 
of the house to prevent anything being conveyed away, and 
that it would be proper he should be present to show the 
particular place where everything was deposited. This ap- 
peared quite right to the collector ; he therefore contented 
himself with fastening his horse to the garden rails, and 
64 



BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW 

proceeds with the rest of the officers in great form to search 
the dog kennel, the coal-house, dove-house, stables, and all 
other suspicious places, expecting every minute to see the 
informing sailor, who by this time was nearly got back to 
Newton-Bushel, having turned his horse's head that way as 
soon as he got out of sight of the collector. He stopped at 
the Bull, where they had been the preceding night, and 
drank a bottle of wine ; then ordering a handsome dinner to 
be got ready for his company, whom he said he had left 
behind, because his business called him with urgent haste ta 
Exeter, claps spurs to his horse, and did not stop till he 
reached that city.' 

This story, chosen almost at random, is a type of very- 
many that are as fully described in the Life and Adventures^ to 
which reference will presently be made. In 1745 Carew 
journeyed to Scotland, and is said to have followed the 
Pretender to Carlisle and Derby. 

It is more than likely that Carew would have remained 
among the gypsies, until, like Clause Patch, he entered into a 
well-earned rest, had it not been for his wife, and the daughter 
who had been born to him. But he felt it his duty to give 
them, if possible, some position more assured than those of 
wife and daughter of a Gypsy King. And so, after some very 
successful speculations in the lotteries, he retired, at a time 
when he must have been at the height of his career. To the deep 
regret of his subjects, he resigned his position as King, and 
returned to the West, where he had bought an estate, some- 
where near his native village. Here he * ended his days, 
beloved and esteemed by all.' He died in 1758, having out- 
lived his wife a little more than a year, and was buried at the 
south-east end of Bickley Church. According to the parish 
register, he was buried on the 28 th of June 1758, and 
his wife, Mary, on the 27th of March 1757. 

These then are the salient points in the life of this 
wonderful man ; but it is difficult for us now to have more 
than an approximate idea of the fascination and glamour that 

E 65 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

must have surrounded him through his whole career. Of the 
curious book that is, in a manner, his biography, some fuller 
account may be given. The full title is as follows : ' The 
Life and Adventures of Bamfylde Moore Carew, the King of 
the Beggars ; being an impartial account of his life, from 
leaving Tiverton School, at the age of fifteen, and entering 
into a society of Gypsies : v/ith the great number of characters 
and shapes he has appeared in through Great Britain, Ireland, 
and several other parts of Europe ; with his travels twice 
through great part of North America : giving a particular 
account of the origin, government, laws, and customs of the 
Gypsies. With the Method of Electing their King, and a 
Dictionary of the Cant Language, used by the Mendicants.' 
The first edition was published in 1745, thirteen years before 
Carew's death, and the book was often reprinted. There 
is a fine old copy in the Blundell's Library. A copy in the 
writer's possession, published in 1857, is brought down to 
the date of Carew's death, and an editorial note refers to 
the ' numerous impressions ' of the book, ' both in town 
and country,' so that the work was evidently popular. The 
authorship is doubtful ; it has been attributed to a certain 
Thomas Price, and to Richard Goadby, who, it would seem, 
was a friend of Carew ; but there is another tradition, namely, 
that the book was written by Mrs. Goadby from Carew's 
dictation. One would like to be able to regard this as true, 
to think of Carew retiring in middle age to the West, like 
Casanova at Dux, to write his autobiography. Unhappily the 
memoirs themselves forbid such belief. Though the stories 
are often racily told, yet the style of the book as a whole has 
not that vraie verite which a * human document ' should possess. 
George Ticknor, the American historian of Spanish literature, 
speaks of the Life and Adventures as an 'imitation' of true 
gypsy character. It is, in fact, impossible to know how much 
of truth there is to be found in the memoirs, and indeed 
it matters little, since one is really concerned less with facts 
than with a temperament. Theophile Gautier, it is well 
66 



BAMFYLDE MOORE CAREW 

known, divided mankind into the two great classes o{ flam- 
boyant and drab^ and the distinction may well be adopted here. 
Bamfylde Moore Carew was a flamboyant of the flamboyants ; 
of that there can be little doubt, if only one will take the 
trouble to investigate the lines of his character. The popular 
verdict^ formed, as the popular verdict always is, by the drab 
section of humanity, would naturally be a little impatient of 
the flamboyant methods ; hence it is usually the custom to 
think and speak of Carew as though he were a mere ' rogue 
and vagabond,' With this view of him it is impossible to be 
in sympathy. Rather one sees in him an artist in life, using 
his medium a little crudely, it may be, as other artists have 
done, for the sake of the variety of effect to be so gained. 
From this we may trace his impatience with the eminently 
respectable — if rather drab — life of his family, his reluctance 
to leave the gypsies, his refusal to assume the king's right of 
immunity from work. There was about him a fine healthy 
love of the open air for its own sake that is very rare nowa- 
days. It has been said by a modern writer that whoever has 
read Borrow must remain always a little discontented with 
drawing-rooms ; and Carew knew for himself the truth of 
Jasper Petulengro's ' Life is sweet, brother. . . . There 's day 
and night, brother, both sweet things ; sun, moon, and stars, 
all sweet things ; there 's likewise a wind on the heath.' And 
he must have been a most lovable man, with an infinite charm 
of manner. His power over animals, which was extraordinary, 
goes a long way to prove this ; and there is very little doubt 
that his power to charm his fellow-men was hardly less. 
Again and again we read how his ready wit and persuasive 
coolness pulled him through a tight place. It would be folly 
to claim for him all the virtues ; but assuredly there went 
to his making up not a few that might be envied by many 
a worthy of greater respectability — and less humanity. If 
courage be a virtue, he had that ; if loyalty, he had that also, 
and, greatest of all, he had imagination, which ' is God walking 
this earth again.' Perhaps only in a small way, and in his 

67 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

own life, yet Carew was trying to do what all men of genius, 
be they saints or artists, have been trying to do since the 
world began ; to break free from the tyranny of law and 
number, and to live out to the full the free, untrammelled life 
of the imagination and of the soul. 



68 



THOMAS HAYTER 

BISHOPRICS of the eighteenth century, it has been 
cynically remarked, were of two kinds : ' Bishoprics 
of business and bishoprics of leisure.' A Bishop, in 
other words, regarded his office either as a stepping-stone to 
high politics, or else as a valuable sinecure in which was 
included the elegant repose of an episcopal palace. 

Now this saying, if it be serious, is not wholly true, for it 
leaves out of account a whole class of divines, and among them 
the subject of this memoir, Thomas Hayter, whose life takes 
us into the very heart of the century. The fact is that nearly 
a hundred years ago it became the fashion for writers living in 
an age of * strenuous commercialism and complacent piety ' to 
criticise and condemn men whose ideals were widely removed 
from their own, and a Church system with which they had no 
intelligent sympathy. 

Let it be granted, then, that never was the tone of the 
Church so low or its position so insignificant. And add 
further, if you like, that among the lower clergy there was 
apathy and sloth, or else veiled hostility to the reigning 
House, while the Bishops, having lost touch with those 
below them, had become merely Whig partisans. Charges 
such as these are easy to make, hard to refute ; and when all 
is said, there remains an abiding interest in an age which pro- 
duced men of a rare culture, and of a temperament that was 
the very special product of the times. 

It was an age great intellectually, an age in which the 
English spirit of sobriety and sagacity found unaffected ex- 
pression. It dreaded enthusiasm, as well it might, now that 
the great tumults of the seventeenth century had subsided. 

69 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

For the fires of bigotry and fanaticism were not extinguished, 
but lay smouldering and ready, as the Sacheverel riots had 
lately shown, to kindle into a blaze ; a fact of which statesmen 
were only too well aware. It was the age, too, of great 
Christian apologists like Berkeley and Butler, as well as of 
writers whose sympathy lay with the reasonable rather than 
with the spiritual side of religion. 

To this latter school of thought John Hayter, Bishop of 
London — ' a sensible and well-bred man,' as Pelham calls him — 
belongs ; for he held the most liberal opinions on politics and 
religion ; he corresponded freely with the leaders of the Whig 
and Broad Church party, sharing, indeed, in some degree the 
views of his friend Hoadly, Bishop of Winchester, ' the 
greatest dissenter that ever wore a mitre.' 

Hayter was, in a word, a man very typical of his age, and 
therein lies the interest of his life. Unemotional, of no great 
doctrinal fervour, either of faith or disbelief, scholarly and 
tolerant, he takes his place naturally in the dignified procession 
of Whig divines who cross the stage of English history during 
the two middle quarters of the eighteenth century. He was 
the eldest son of the rector of Chagford, Devon, a living which 
has been held by descendants of the family in unbroken succes- 
sion for nearly three centuries, and was born on November i 7, 
1702. At what age he entered Blundell's is uncertain, owing 
to the loss of the school records ; but in 1720, at a time when 
the school under the able rule of Mr. Rayner was steadily 
increasing in numbers and reputation, with the aid of a 
temporary exhibition, he matriculated at Exeter College, 
Oxford, and graduated B.A. in 1724. 

Following a custom not unusual in the eighteenth century, 
Hayter migrated to Cambridge, taking his M.A. degree from 
Emmanuel College in 1727, though, as he became chaplain to 
the Archbishop of York soon after leaving Oxford, it is clear 
that he was not long in residence at Cambridge. Preferment 
came rapidly. From 1728 to 1736 he held a prebendal stall 
in York Cathedral. Perhaps it was ' a stall without much 
70 



THOMAS HAYTER 

hay in It,' to quote the saying of a witty dean, for in 1730 he 
became sub-dean of York, and in 1739 was installed Pre- 
bendary of Westminster. Those were the good old days of 
pluralities, for yet another prebendal vacant stall was pre- 
sented to Hayter, who held it, together with his other offices, 
until he was made Bishop of Norwich. 

He was also Archdeacon of York for over twenty years 
( 1 730-1 751), an important post which he owed to the kind 
offices of his friend, Dr. Blackburne, the jovial Archbishop of 
York. Scandal, indeed, asserted at the time that Hayter was 
the natural son of Blackburne before his translation from 
Exeter (17 13- 1724) to York, and Horace Walpole, who had 
a pretty taste in such matters, repeated the gossip, for which 
there was not the slightest foundation, in his brilliant but 
untrustworthy history of the reign of George 11. 

Walpole, indeed, wrote for effect, just as he built Strawberry 
Hill : disfiguring events, and traducing persons with all the 
malignity of political and private enmity. Still the bold and 
amusing slander is worth quotation: — 

' The other preceptor (of the young princes) was Hayter, 
Bishop of Norwich, a sensible, well-bred man, natural son of 
Blackburne, the jolly old Archbishop of York, who had all 
the manners of a man of quality though he had been a 
buccaneer and was a clergyman ; but he retained nothing of 
his first profession except his seraglio.' 

It was an accusation worthy of Walpole ; an echo of 
slanders which that prince of gossips was pretty sure to hear 
and remember. 

In 1749 Hayter was appointed to the vacant see of 
Norwich, and, two years later, by accepting the post of tutor 
to the sons of Frederick, the late Prince of Wales, was flung 
into a hotbed of petty squabble and court intrigue. On the 
death of Frederick, a well-meaning but ineffective man, the 
opposition to George 11., of which he had been the focus, 
broke down, and his widow was reconciled to the king. New 
guardians were appointed for Prince George and his brother, 

71 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

the Duke of York, and on Hayter, a Whig, and attached to 
the Pelhams, was conferred the post of preceptor. He carried 
out his duties conscientiously enough, but his dry and pedantic 
manners disgusted his pupils. What was worse, he offended 
their indulgent mother, the Princess of Wales, by the severity 
of his discipline, and played into the hands of the three sub- 
ordinate guardians who were planning to get rid of him and 
his colleague. 

As usually happened in those days, the Royal household 
was divided into two parties, one of which was — and rightly 
so — suspected of high Tory leanings ; the other consisted of 
the Bishop and Lord Harcourt (the Governor), both zealous 
Whigs. Matters came to a crisis when Hayter discovered in 
the possession of his pupil a book written to justify the absolu- 
tism of James ii., and he resolved to relinquish his trust 
unless he could obtain the dismissal of his enemies, the three 
subordinate preceptors. 

George ii. was in Hanover at the time, and as the story 
was conveyed to him in a manner not to the advantage of 
either Hayter or Lord Harcourt, they resigned their posts. 
Hayter seems to have acted firmly and honourably throughout ; 
indeed, a short poem in praise of his conduct appeared in the 
Gentleman's Magazine, 1752. The verses, though slight in 
themselves, are worth quoting : — 

* For the Lord Bishop of N Picture. 

* Not gentler virtues glowed in Cambray's breast, 
Not more his young Telemachus was blest ; 
Till envy, faction, and ambitious rage, 
Drove from a guilty court the pious sage. 
Back to his flock with transport he withdrew, 
And but one sigh, an honest one, he knew ! 

! guard my royal pupil, heav'n ! he said : 
Let not his youth be, like my age, betray'd ! 

1 would have form'd his footsteps in thy way — 
But vice prevails, and impious men bear sway ! ' 

And, indeed, it is an interesting thought, and stands within 

72 



THOMAS HAYTER 

the prospect of belief, that had Hayter ' formed his footsteps ' 
and gained a firm influence over George iii. when a boy, 
the whole course of history might have been altered. A man 
of great tact and strong personality might have moulded that 
stubborn will into a more sympathetic attitude towards the 
progressive ideas of the day. It is even possible that the 
American colonies might have been saved to England had not 
the high-flying Tory theories which were instilled into the 
young Prince's mind, his mother's unwise advice, ' George, be 
King,' and the influence of Bolingbroke's Patriot King^ all 
combined to stiffen his mind against Whig or Liberal theories 
of government. 

A curiously cut-and-dried time-table or ' plan of instruction 
for their Royal Highnesses,' in Hayter's own handwriting, still 
survives. No wonder the boys, then aged fourteen and 
twelve respectively, disliked their tutor, and found his methods 
irksome. It is well worth inserting : — 

' It is proposed that their Royal Highnesses do rise at seven 
o'clock and translate such parts of Cassar's Commentaries as 
they had before read till half-past eight, at which hour break- 
fast, allowing until nine ; at which time will be lectures in 
History and Geography. 

* At ten the translations from Cassar are to be reviewed 
and corrected, and new parts of that author read by their 
Royal Highnesses, and explained to them. 

* At eleven, writing, arithmetic, and dancing three times a 
week, and the French master the other days. 

' From twelve o'clock, riding and other exercises, etc., until 
dinner, which is proposed to be at three o'clock.' 

After dinner came a visit to their mother, the princess, 
where a German master was in attendance three days a 
week. 

In the evening, from seven to nine, * useful and enter- 
taining books, such as Addison's works,' were read, and 
the conversation turned on the nature of the constitution 
of this country, its interests, and foreign politics generally. 

73 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

' Every Sunday morning after breakfast the Bishop of 
Norwich reads to their Royal Highnesses a practical explana- 
tion of the Christian religion, and recapitulates the substance 
of the preceding lectures ; and the utmost attention has been, 
and will be had, to explain and inculcate the great duties of 
Religion and Morality, and particularly those that more imme- 
diately concern their Royal Highnesses from their rank and 
station.' 

It is hardly surprising that to high-spirited boys such an 
inelastic curriculum, by which every hour was ear-marked with 
some special duty, soon became intolerable, and the fact that, 
armed with the King's approval, Hayter, a punctilious man, 
set himself to carry it out literally, only ensured its failure. A 
few years later, however, George iii., in recognition of his old 
tutor's worth, presented him with a likeness of himself wrought 
in ivory. 

In 1753 thePelham ministry introduced the Jews' Natural- 
isation Bill, a most unpopular measure, which roused at once 
religious fanaticism and commercial jealousy, though supported 
by all liberal-minded men. 

It brought, incidentally, to Hayter, a lover of religious 
and civil liberty, much unpopularity in his own diocese, 
and once, when holding a confirmation, he was grossly 
insulted by the candidates themselves in their anti-Jewish 
fervour. 

But by this time his health, never very robust, was showing 
unmistakable signs of failing. Attacks of gout made exercise 
difficult, and in spite of visits to inland watering-places, Bath, 
Epsom, and Buxton, a fashion then firmly established, he grew 
steadily worse. In 1755 an attack of fever left him very weak, 
and as a last resource, in 1761, he spent several months at 
Malvern, a health resort then almost unknown. 

The visit to Malvern was not without good results. It may 

be that a quiet life in the pure air of the little town that nestles 

so snugly under the Worcestershire Beacon suited the Bishop 

better than Bath with its fashionable assemblies and crowded 

74 



THOMAS HAYTER 

pump-room. This much is certain, that in the autumn of that 
same year, 1761, Hayter found himself strong enough to accept 
the offer of the Bishopric of London, becoming, incidentally, 
Dean of the Chapel Royal and a Privy Councillor. But the 
progress of the dropsy from which he suffered was not long 
delayed, and on January 9, 1762, he died, leaving behind a 
reputation for scholarly accomplishment, business capacity, 
and hospitality. His death occurred only a few months after 
that of his friend, Dr. Hoadly, successively Bishop of Bangor, 
Hereford, Salisbury, and Winchester, a man whose character 
in many respects resembled his own. Both were excessively 
unpopular, and distrusted even by their own class for their 
sympathy with dissenters. Both were suspected of hetero- 
doxy even in that undogmatic age — an epitaph written 
by Hayter was said ' to savour more of Plato than of 
Christ' — and if Hayter was in his later days a confirmed 
invalid, Hoadly was all his life a cripple, and even used to 
preach kneeling. 

Bishop Hayter's literary remains are not large. He 
published several sermons preached on state occasions which 
quite justify his reputation as a Whig, and a few tracts and 
charges to his clergy which have long been forgotten. He 
was buried in Fulham churchyard, and there are portraits of 
him at Fulham and at Lambeth Palace, as well as the one 
which hangs in the big schoolroom at Blundell's. 

Compare the life of Hayter with that of any Bishop to-day ; 
at once it becomes evident how far our point of view of life 
has shifted from that of the eighteenth century. 

The Bishop of to-day is a strenuous worker who is 
brought face to face with all the social problems of the age. 
Every phase of life is probably familiar to him ; there is no 
aristocratic isolation, no ecclesiastical ' side.' But Hayter 
hardly touched the life of the people at all. He was a courtly 
figure, a prince of the Church, creating, as it were, an atmo- 
sphere for himself into which nothing common or mean could 
enter. One can picture him in his great coach with lackeys in 

75 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

attendance making his way to Bath or Epsom, or in his 
cassock, not as yet shortened to the vulgar * apron,' with 
gold-knobbed stick and full-dressed wig, taking the air 
decorously on the Pantiles of Tunbridge Wells. 

He was, in truth, a typical Churchman of that day, a 
very perfect product of the fascinating century in which 
he lived. 



76 



THOMAS WOOD 

THE Lives of the Blundeirs Ushers^ a volume unwritten 
as yet, is for lack of materials likely to remain so. 
Here and there in the list a familiar name arises, or 
a fragment of biography remains, but for the most part, from 
William Knyght, appointed in 1604, to Dr. Anthony Boulton, 
1 827-1 844, whose fame still lives in the memory of a few 
surviving pupils, three-and-twenty names are all that is left of 
men who once played no small part in the history of the 
school. 

Six, at least, of their number, it is pleasant to find, were 
Blundell's scholars to Balliol or Sidney Sussex College, who, 
in due course, returned to their old school ; while only two, 
the Rev. Philip Atherton and the Rev. J. B. Hughes, were 
promoted to the Headmastership. 

The subject of this memoir, the Rev. Thomas Wood, 
1 760- 1 78 8, has by diaries and account-books recently brought 
to light, as well as by a mass of his correspondence and some 
literary work, rescued himself, so to say, from the oblivion 
into which so many of his predecessors in office have fallen. 
By the aid of these it is possible to sketch the career and 
character of this good man, as well as the everyday life of 
Old Tiverton in the early days of George in. 

He was descended from an old family, whose seat was 
Brookthorpe, in the county of Gloucester. His own line 
gave the Church beneficed clergy in unbroken succession 
from Queen Anne's reign. The parallel line, with varied 
fortunes, gave the kingdom Lord Hatherley, the empire 
Sir Evelyn Wood, and, in earlier days, the city of London 

77 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Sir Matthew Wood, so well known in the squalid story of 
Queen Caroline. 

Little is known of his school-days at Blundell's, or of his 
University career, beyond the fact that he took his degree from 
Peterhouse College, Cambridge, though he spent a year or so 
at Oxford. In 1760, on the resignation of another old 
Blundellian, the Rev. Henry Atkins, he was appointed to the 
under-mastership at Blundell's at a salary of twenty pounds 
a year, with the privilege of taking boarders in his house. 
Now by Peter Blundell's will the usher's salary was only 
* twenty marks,' and further, he had to be content with * one 
chamber to himself only in the saide buildings.' But the 
' marks ' had been raised to pounds, and the founder's inten- 
tions so far set aside that the whole of the south wing of the 
school, with accommodation for some twenty boarders, was 
given over to the under-master. 

Mr. Wood was not a rich man ; nor, indeed, was his father, 
the long-lived Rector of Bampton, though the latter managed 
to keep his own pack of hounds, and to entertain Bamfylde 
Moore Carew in his kitchen, on condition, faithfully observed, 
that he would not steal any of his dogs. 

The carefully kept account-books explain the sources of 
his income. A small loan from his father opened his account, 
and was soon repaid in full. He was curate to his father for 
the parish of Cadbury, an office worth about thirty pounds a 
year, and held the small living of Poughill near Crediton, as 
well as a sinecure chaplaincy to a regiment. 

From school fees, including fixed salary, he received about 
one hundred pounds a year ; his boarding-house was worth 
on an average one hundred and eighty pounds, while he made 
a few pounds more from occasional sources. These included 
' briefs ' — ' letters from the Crown or other authority, directing 
collection of alms ' — for which he got sixpence each, churching 
fees, which varied from one guinea to a shilling, marriage 
fees at half-a-crown a pair, and preaching funeral sermons, 
for which his charge was ten shillings and sixpence. Every 
78 



THOMAS WOOD 

Christmas he balanced his accounts, finding himself each year 
a little better off. His sister, * Molly,' kept house for him, 
and she it was, doubtless, for whom he bought green tea at 
sixteen shillings per pound — even an inferior quality cost ten 
shillings — a luxury not to be set before the boys, whose break- 
fast and supper then, and for many years after, consisted only 
of milk and a small roll. Letters, too, were expensive, one 
from London costing sevenpence halfpenny, and another to 
Granada in Spain, one shilling and tenpence. 

Wood was very fond of cards, he played on an average at 
least twice a week, with consistently bad luck. The stakes, 
however, were not high, his losses seldom amounting to more 
than one shilling and sixpence. He was also a fisherman, as 
became a man living near the Exe and the Lowman ; new rods 
cost one shilling, and a book of flies bought from ' Old Pinse,' 
ninepence. Like the usher in David Copperfield he played 
the flute, and there is an entry of sixpence for repairs to that 
instrument. 

But cards were his chief recreation. In October 1763 he 
played on five consecutive nights, and rose a winner of six- 
pence, not enough for the customary vail or ' tip ' to the 
servants, an item incidental in those days to an evening out. 
Regularly under the heading ' dat. sor.' (given to my sister) 
appear the entries for housekeeping expenses ; they averaged 
about two pounds per week. His servants' wages were three 
pounds three shillings a year, and his sister's stipend eight 
pounds eight shillings, not a large item, seeing that he had a 
good many boarders. There are, however, numerous entries 
of small sums paid to ' Old Pinse,' ' Old Charles,' and others 
for gardening and other odd jobs, while the school porter swept 
and cleaned out the school at a cost of two shillings and eight- 
pence halfpenny each quarter. 

Food was cheap ; bacon, cheese, and butter being less than 
half their present price. On one occasion the Vicar of Bampton 
sent his son three hundredweight of cheese, worth four pounds 
seventeen shillings ; not as a present, but as part payment of 

79 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

his Stipend as curate. On the other hand, sugar and tea, as 
we have seen, were very dear. There are entries, ' Gave one 
shilling to the servant ' ; and the note, ' Dined at Nutcombe's, 
servants take no vails,' only marks an exception which illus- 
trates the rule. 

At bowls — he was a member of a club which met at the 
Tunns Inn — he had better luck, or perhaps more skill, for 
the gains almost balance the losses. Still bowls is a convivial 
game, as sundry entries prove, and these, together with certain 
mysterious club forfeitures, swallowed up most of his winnings. 
Here is a very sporting wager made with the father of one of 
his boarders : — 

' 1765, October. — Mr. Laroche dined here — betted with 
him eight guineas to ten that my father survived his mother.' 

Now the Rev. Mr. Wood, senior, died nearly twenty years 
after the bet was laid, having been Vicar of Bampton for fifty- 
three years ; but the winner of the bet is not recorded. 

It will be seen from the above that Wood was a sociable 
and popular man, dining out now with the Athertons (he 
always lost at cards there), now at ' Nightshayes ' with the 
Lewises, now at a clergy club held at Bampton or Huntsham. 

To his pupils, or ' children ' as he usually calls them, he 
was a kind and easy-going housemaster. Thus, at Tiverton 
Fair in 1763, he sent Bovel and Phelp with a * tip ' of two 
shillings to see the 'shew ' ; while in October 1766 the boys 
raised seven shillings and sixpence to be spent in the same 
pleasant manner. 

Tiverton was by no means dull in those days. An evening 
at the play, for instance, cost two shillings and eightpence, 
including cyder and cake. Vowler, the Fire-eater, attracted 
him and his sister, while a visit to the ' waxworks, etc.,* in 
company with Miss Lewis, cost just half-a-crown. The diary 
tempts to endless quotation, for during the winter there was 
no lack of amusement, and subscription dances (one pound one 
shilling for the series) were held every fortnight at the ' Angel.* 
It is pleasant to picture the usher and his sister setting out 
80 



THOMAS WOOD 

regularly every fortnight to ' the Assembly,' she, perhaps, 
wearing that new ' sack ' towards which her brother had just 
contributed two guineas ; whilst he, his wig just powdered by 
the barber (one shilling), his hair, for some unknown reason, 
was always cut at Bampton, and wearing his new white thread 
gloves (one shilling and fourpence), laid himself out to enjoy a 
pleasant evening. The inevitable entry, ' Lost at cards,' proves 
that he was not a dancing man, but he spent his evening in the 
card-room, and sipped his ' negus ' in comfort. 

On the occasion of the Queen's birthday, February 20, 
1766, there was a ball at the 'Angel,' a function, which, 
including ' gloves, barber, etc. cost eight shillings and sixpence.' 
This is the one of the few entries that refer to public events ; 
here is another : — 

' 1765, November 12. — Crape hat-band — mourning for the 
Duke, one shilling and tenpence halfpenny. 

This refers, no doubt, to the King's uncle, William, 
' Butcher ' Cumberland, to give him the sobriquet he had 
deservedly earned by his severity in crushing the '45 rebellion. 
But by a curious irony of fate his actions in Scotland had, just 
before his death, made him popular again through the increas- 
ing national dislike to Scotland generally, and to the Earl of 
Bute in particular. Hence this complimentary mourning. 

School duties notwithstanding, the usher found time to 
make numerous visits home to Bampton, to Cadbury, to 
Crediton, and even as far as Exeter. He always hired a horse 
for the journey, until, in 1764, we come across the entry : — 

' November 20.- — Pd. for an horse bought of Mr, Thomas, 
Thorverton, eight pounds eight shillings.' 

Not a very high price, perhaps, as horses go ; still it 
turned out a bad bargain, for the beast was constantly in need 
of being clipped, docked, or dosed. Thus, within two months 
of purchase, this ominous entry occurs : — 

' January 1 7. — Half-pound of brimstone for the horse, 
twopence halfpenny.' 

Mr. Wood was a kind-hearted man, his almsgiving was 

F 81 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

frequent and indiscriminate ; for charity was not so highly 
organised then as it is now. On almost every page are 
entries of small sums given away ; thus : — 

' Gave Welch clergyman in distress, five shillings.' 

' September i8. — Jack's mother — children ill of the small- 
pox, one shilling.' 

' Gave a parson from Germany begging, five shillings, 
suspect him a Jesuit and imposter.' 

And this last, which throws a lurid light on the state of the 
law as regards debt : — 

' Poor man, to cleare him from prison, one shilling.' 

The entry ' Gave sufferer by fire, one shilling,' is less 
surprising, for the town had been twice nearly destroyed by 
fire in 1598, and again in 1612, on which latter occasion the 
intervening waters of the Lowman alone saved the newly built 
school. Not long ago the Blundell's Fire Brigade proved of 
real service ; like the Headmaster who, at the great fire of 173 1, 
earned the lasting gratitude of the townspeople ; for he 
' immediately took off his gown and cassock to stop a gutter, 
that water might be more easily supplied, giving money to 
the bystanders to assist him in his good work.' 

On the whole the usher lived pleasantly and comfortably, 
dining out a good deal, and entertaining his friends at home 
or at an inn. He bought his ' cyder ' by the hogshead (one 
pound seven shillings), his port wine by the half or quarter pipe 
(seven pounds ten shiUings), his cards by the half-dozen packs 
(four shillings and sixpence), and his pipes — clay * church- 
wardens,' no doubt — by the gross (three shillings). 

And so life flowed on at Old Blundell's in easy channels, 
though there is no reason to doubt that he was a good school- 
master. Appointed during the headmastership of Mr. 
Atherton, Mr. Wood remained for thirteen years after the 
resignation of that benevolent man, under the far stricter rule 
of the Rev. Philip Keats. In 1788, owing to ill-health, he 
resigned, and having been presented some two years previously 
to the living of Washfield, remained there till his death in 1 806. 
82 



THOMAS WOOD 

By his marriage with Miss Lewis of ' Nightshayes,' to 
whom he used to give small presents (1764, May 10, orange- 
nuts for Miss L,), he left two daughters, whose descendants, 
the families of Owen and Cruwys, keep up the connection 
with Blundell's. 

He was domestic chaplain to Earl Talbot, and inherited 
some court influence ; in this way he may have succeeded in 
getting a place at the dramatic scene, February 13, 1788, of 
Burke's impeachment of Warren Hastings, which his two 
daughters loved to entice him to describe from vivid recollec- 
tion. That he was an excellent man of business is proved by 
his management as trustee and guardian of certain estates, 
and by his work as correspondent with the Government in 
keeping a list of all the transport required for the Tiverton 
district during the fear of a French invasion from the south 
coast of Devon, 

Thick packets of letters from his worrying, impecunious, 
and often undeserving relatives prove him to have possessed 
his soul in patience, while the fact that he returned nearly the 
whole income of a valuable benefice to his friends the patrons, 
to enable them to keep up appearances, v/as only revealed long 
after he and they had passed away. 

He made no stir in the world of letters, it is true, but that 
he was an elegant scholar may be inferred from many of his 
manuscripts, and some few of his printed poems. One, at all 
events, of his sermons so impressed his audience as to win for 
him the kindly sobriquet of ' Felix,' borrowed from his text, 
' Felix trembled.' 

To his pen is attributed the best, perhaps, of the many 
attempts to translate the ancient Latin inscription, which from 
the gates of the old has been transferred to the porch of the 
present school. 

' Minerva on her travels sought to find 
Some hospitable seat to please her mind ; 
She saw this school — struck, with the stately dome, 
She cried with transport, " This shall be my home." ' 

83 



RICHARD BEADON 

WE learn from Cassan's Lives of the Bishops of Bath 
and Wells that Richard Beadon was the second 
son of Mr. Robert Beadon of Upcott, in the 
Parish of Brushford, Somerset, his mother being a daughter 
of the Rev. S. Squire, Rector of Oakford, near Tiverton. 
The father moved to Pinkworthy, Devon, about the year 
1735, '^'^^ there Richard, the subject of this memoir, was 
born in 1737. Being thus by birth and parentage a thorough 
West Countryman, it is only natural to learn that he entered 
Blundell's School about the year 1747/ where he might well 
have been a school-fellow (though younger by five years) of 
John Davey, who left in 1749 ; both of them would have been 
pupils of the Rev. W. Daddo, the then Headmaster. 

Richard Beadon must have left the school in 1754-5, 
for about the latter year he entered St. John's College, 
Cambridge, where he had a distinguished career. 

Cambridge, as is known, forestalled Oxford by exactly 
fifty years in the establishment (in 1752) of an 'Honour 
School.' It appears that for the first three years the candidates 
were arranged in two classes or divisions, the first being 
styled ' Wranglers and Senior Optimes,' while the second 
was set down as 'Junior Optimes.' In 1755 the threefold 
division of the Tripos, with which we are all familiar, was 
adopted, and thenceforward Wranglers, Senior Optimes, and 
Junior Optimes have followed each other regularly from year 
to year. 

^ The disappearance (they must have existed once) of the School Registers renders 
any attempt at accuracy (before 1770) quite hopeless. Since that year the Registers 
have been regularly kept, and (equally important) have been preserved. 
84 



RICHARD BEADON 

In 1758 Richard Beadon is found in Class I., being eighth 
out of twelve wranglers. We conclude that the names stand 
in order of merit, as has always been the Cambridge practice. 
Three members of St. John's College appear in the same 
class, but Beadon is the only one who is distinguished by an 
asterisk, denoting that later he was chosen Fellow of his 
College. In the same year he became the ' Senior Chancellor's 
Medallist.' 

In 1759 he won the second of the two ' Members' Prizes* 
which were open to ' Middle Bachelors,' and in the following 
year, as a ' Senior Bachelor,' he stands first of the two 
who attained to a similar distinction. These were of the 
value of fifteen guineas each, and were awarded for the 
best Dissertation in Latin Prose, to be read publicly on 
a day soon after the * Commencement.' ^ — These prizes were 
given by the Members of Parliament for the University, 
and were called by this name for many years. ^ — It is thus 
evident that Robert Beadon was not only a first-rate mathe- 
matician, but was also a good classic.^ 

Other distinctions followed. He was made Tutor of his 
College, and seems to have resided in the University for 
some years. He twice was called upon to discharge the duties 
of Vice-Chancellor, and, in 1768, became 'Public Orator,' 
an appointment conferred as a rule on graduates of high 
merit. In this capacity we find him presenting, on behalf 
of the University, an Address of Welcome to Christian vii. 
of Denmark, who visited England in that year (1771).* 

In 1775 Richard Beadon must have begun to sever some- 
what his connection with College life, for he was at that 
date made Archdeacon of London, returning however in 
178 1 to Cambridge, on being appointed Master of Jesus 

^ Corresponding to ' Commemoration ' at Oxford. 

2 They were subsequently known as ' Latin Essay ' Prizes. The above particulars 
are from a Cambridge University Calendar for 1803. 

3 At first Classics formed a part of the Tripos, as originally established. It was 
many years later when the Classical Tripos was set on foot. 

* This Sovereign was related to George iii., whose sister he had married, a 
daughter of Frederick, the late Prince of Wales. 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

College — a choice which affords a fresh tribute to his merits 
in being selected, though a Fellow of St. John's, to preside 
over another Foundation, 

Such is a sketch of what we may call the first period 
of Richard Beadon's life — it was crowded with University 
honours and distinctions — but we miss altogether what would 
extend our knowledge of the man. No personal records 
have been found : there is no trace of any details of his life ; 
what were his tastes, who were his friends and intimates, 
etc. In the Bishop's Palace at Wells his portrait hangs 
among those of other occupants of the See, some earlier and 
some later. We do not know the name of the painter, or 
the date, but the picture is that of a man in the full prime 
of life (not in a wig as so often worn by Bishops), with a 
thoughtful and intelligent countenance, the look that seems to 
indicate resolution, and yet the capacity for showing kindness. 

The horizon however widens considerably as the years 
pass on, and with it comes the brightness of Royal favour, 
perhaps foreshadowing other promotions, perhaps indicating 
avenues of influence that we can now hardly guess at. 

In the volume from which we have already quoted, 
reference is made to ' the wise man's saying ' that ' time and 
chance happen to all,' and the writer goes on to speak of 
Dr. Beadon's elevation as coming from one of those lucky 
circumstances that befall the career of some men. But let 
us look more closely at this. What are the facts, as we 
know them ? While he was occupying the post of Master of 
Jesus College, he was placed in charge of William Frederick, 
a young Prince, afterwards Duke of Gloucester,^ who was 
then in residence at the University. His attention to the 
well-being of his young charge would appear to have brought 
him into favour at Court, and through that influence (as our 
chronicler insists) he was made Bishop of Gloucester in 1789, 

^ A younger son ofWilliam, Duke of Gloucester, and nephew of George in., he 
married his cousin. Princess Mary, daughter of George iii. 

86 



RICHARD BEADON 

and later (in 1802) was translated to the See of Bath and 
Wells, where he died twenty years after, at the advanced age of 
eighty-five years. But we seem to see more than a turn of 
luck or a piece of good fortune in the promotion that followed 
in the last thirty years. We prefer to associate his previous 
good record, as Fellow and Tutor, with the rewards that came 
later. He may well have been chosen tutor to the young 
Prince because of his reputation in the University, and having 
shown aptness and diligence in his charge, he naturally stood 
high among those likely to be called to the ' office and work 
of a Bishop.' We know next to nothing of his Diocesan life, 
though he was Bishop for thirty-one years. No doubt the 
times were such that a Bishop's work was less exacting than 
now, and there were fewer calls upon him for public action 
outside the actual administrative details of his office. Yet we 
cannot help regretting the absence of any record. He is said 
to have been kind and hospitable to his clergy and neighbours 
— obeying thus far the precept that a Bishop should be *a 
lover of hospitality.' We have seen also mention of the fact 
that he followed the example of his predecessor Dr. Moss, in 
extending his patronage and help to the philanthropic work 
that Hannah More was then beginning, and that this exposed 
him to no little opposition and misunderstanding. There is 
extant, somewhere, a sermon he preached before the House 
of Lords on April 19, 1798, on the occasion of a Public Fast 
Day, perhaps not unconnected with the troubles then rife in 
Ireland, and the ' wars and rumours of wars ' prevalent on the 
Continent. He preached also a Sermon to the S.P.G. in 
1796 (as Bishop of Gloucester), being the occasion of the 
Anniversary of the Society.^ 

On the principle of faithful portraiture we add a blemish 
that has been noted, viz., that he was ' not slow to use the 
opportunities his Bishopric gave him to advance the interests 
of his family ' — e.g. making his son Chancellor of the Diocese 

1 Thomas Hayter, O.B., had preached on a similar occasion, in 1755, as Bishop 
of Norwich, as did F. Temple, O.B., in 1872, as Bishop of Exeter. 

87 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

(of Bath and Wells) — but after all it may be said that to 
* provide for those of his own household ' is a precept that 
carries Apostolic authority, and we would not lay much stress 
on this foible (if such it be). Any good principle may be 
abused, and no doubt others before (and since) have done 
more and gone further in this direction. We prefer, at all 
events, to think of him in the success of his youth, the brilliancy 
of his middle life, and the kindly, if uneventful, character of 
his Episcopate. 

He is said to have failed much in strength in his last years, 
and to have been hardly competent for the due administration 
of his Diocese, but here again we make no unkindly comment, 
remembering rather the words of the epitaph, graven on the 
cloister walls of his Cathedral at Wells, where he is spoken of 
as passing to his rest ' surrounded by relations and friends, full 
of years, complete in faith, hope, and charity.' 




j^f^MTIM I])UWS^OMU) , 



.yWercAt 



AJV. ./^TAT.SJ 



MARTIN DUNSFORD 

I MARTIN DUNSFORD, eldest son of the last named 
Martin, and writer of all these memoirs, was born at 
' Tiverton, 2nd February 1744. During my younger 
years I was under my father's tuition, and though early sent 
to school, himself was my chief teacher in reading, writing 
characters, and arithmetic. When eight years old, he sent 
me to Blundell's Free Grammar School in Tiverton, where 
I remained a daily attendant for five years under the tuition 
of Rev. Philip Atherton, usher in the lower school, and 
advanced to the fifth class from the lowest in the upper 
school, under the care all my time of Mr. William Daddo 
the Master, employing the evening at home in improving 
my shorthand writing, arithmetic, reading, and writing, in all 
which pursuits of learning I made considerable progress.' 

As Mr. Dunsford has left behind an unpublished memoir 
from which the foregoing sentences are taken, it seems best 
to let him tell in his own words, as far as possible, the story 
of his life. 

' At the age of thirteen I was taken into my father's 
business, and continued under his instruction to the time of 
his death. I learnt the manual employ of wool-combing, 
weaving, wool-sorting, washing, and dyeing, and the latter 
art was particularly fond of, from the great scope for improve- 
ment and discovery. At the age of nineteen I had the whole 
care of supporting my father's family ; six years I continued 
his trade of making serges, etc., for the merchants of Tiverton 
and Exeter, paid his legacies given to my younger sister and 
brother at their marriages, and the whole of my father's 
debts, and buried my eldest sister at the age of twenty-five, 

89 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

to my great regret and sorrow, after a lingering, painful 
illness many years. Living then alone with my mother, I 
found myself more at liberty to seek a more advantageous 
business than what myself and father had been hitherto engaged 
in, the profits of which were greatly lessened from many 
concurring circumstances. I went to London, therefore, in 
November 1767, and settled some correspondencies in other 
branches of the woollen trade.' 

A visit to Holland failed to produce new customers, but 
on his return Dunsford formed a trade connection in London 
with American merchants, which continued ' till the unhappy 
war which the arbitrary English Ministry unjustly commenced 
and cruelly prosecuted, to the utter ruin of our trade and 
connections with the thirteen American colonies, which was 
peculiarly injurious and distressing to me by stopping the 
course of my best trade, and leaving large quantities of goods 
on hand which were not all sold in the course of many years.' 

In July 1773 Dunsford went again to Holland, as his 
own commis voyageur. This time he was more successful, 
forming a regular correspondence with several trading houses 
to the great benefit of the decaying serge trade. A year later 
he travelled on business through a great part of Germany in 
very severe weather, ' minutes of all which journeys and 
voyages, and the many dangers and difficulties, pleasures, 
informations, and entertainments attending these, are preserved 
written in journals during my expeditions, as the events 
occurred and the natural fears and hopes prevailed.* 

As the result, doubtless, of these journeys, Dunsford's 
trade prospered, enabling him to improve his dwelling and 
warehouses, and also to buy a little field at the north-east 
end of the town which his father had long rented and 
delighted in. The stable he converted into a little cottage, 
and called it 'Villa Franca,' because of the several meetings 
held there to concert plans for obtaining the right of free 
election of Members of Parliament for Tiverton. This was 
a burning question at the time, and Dunsford, whose political 
90 



MARTIN DUNSFORD 

views are clearly shown in his attitude towards the American 
War, was the life and soul of the movement. A petition 
drawn up by him against the exclusive claim of the Corporation 
to vote, was signed by four hundred and ninety-one men, free 
inhabitants, and presented to the House of Commons, where 
it was allowed to lie on the table, in company, doubtless, with 
other similar petitions. 

' During all these businesses and employments, and from 
the earliest periods of life, I read much, and became theoretic- 
ally acquainted with many arts and sciences ; but History 
and Theology chiefly engaged my attention, particularly the 
truth. Divine authority, and just evidence, internal and external, 
of the Christian and Jewish sacred Scriptures ; their genuine 
and authentic descents to our age and time, and their natural 
Divine influence on the mind of the honest inquirer and 
humble receiver, of the wise and good instructions contained 
in them. At the time also of those more serious and important 
researches, I attended to the interests of civil and religious 
freedom, and supported with my best abilities of property and 
mind the many struggles to preserve and extend them.' 

At a time when the outlook of Liberalism was darkest, 
Dunsford struggled steadily for the repeal of the Test Acts, 
a wider franchise for Tiverton, and the impartial direction of 
parish concerns. He was generally chosen chairman of the 
various meetings held for public business, and as he naively 
adds : ' These dispositions, and my utter abhorrence to employ 
any of the sacred institutions of religion to qualify for civil 
trusts or the ofiices of rank, power, or worldly interests, 
municipal or general, prevented my advancement to public 
offices of influence, power, or profit, and exposed me to the 
opposition of every interested party in the emoluments of the 
world. I served, notwithstanding, by general choice and 
approbation, the office of Portreeve, three years. Overseer of 
the Poor, one. Collector of Land Tax, one, and that of Church- 
v/arden, four successive years, without submitting to one 
improper oath. The public records must speak my conduct 

91 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

in those several employs to which I refer for impartial 
information, as also for every part of my public conduct and 
character.' 

But Mr. Dunsford's almost oppressive public virtues were 
not, unhappily, rewarded by much domestic happiness. After 
settling his mother in a small adjoining house, he married, in 
January 1780, Miss Ann Violl of Moretonhampstead. After 
two years of very happy married life, Mrs. Dunsford died of 
' a disorder called the influenza and weakness occasioned by 
child-birth, which so totally discomposed my mind, as to 
render me unfit a long time for any of the avocations of life ; 
and of which, indeed, I never thoroughly got the better. 
Eliza, her daughter, survived but about two months ; she died 
20th December 1782, which occasioned my yet greater 
depression.' 

To alleviate his sorrow, Dunsford threw himself with more 
eagerness than ever into public life, with the result that ' in 
executing the office of churchwarden I had much opposition 
and persecution from bigoted and interested men, on account 
of the most disinterested endeavours to promote the equal 
public interest of the parishioners and to secure the rights and 
claims of the poor, by a close attendance to the just adminis- 
tration of the public charitable donation, and the making 
equitable assessment of taxes and rates without respect of 
persons which met general approbation.' But bad times were 
at hand, and his misery, which was very great, ' was further 
heightened by many severe losses in trade, by bad debts, and 
the detention of goods on hand occasioned by the war, and 
many additional expenses in consequence ; there was scarcely a 
place to which I traded where I met not some bad connection 
(notwithstanding the greatest precaution), from public distress 
or private iniquities or misfortunes which in the course of a 
few years greatly lessened my comforts and the means of 
extensive usefulness, though I neglected no path of industry, 
or means of frugality to restore and preserve my property. 
In the midst of these difficulties, my leisure hours were 
92 



MARTIN DUNSFORD 

employed in collecting materials, digesting, arranging, and 
writing the Historical Memoirs of Tiverton^ which the office of 
churchwarden afforded the best opportunity of doing, with 
truth and authenticity, that my labour of life might not wholly 
be lost to my family or the world, however unfortunate or 
unsuccessful in business.' After labours extending over four 
years, in the course of which the author revised the press sheets 
himself and directed the several drawings and engravings by 
letters and agents to London, the volume appeared in 1792. 
' To perpetuate the knowledge and benefit of the public 
charitable donations. To introduce to public view and public 
instruction just principles of civil and political freedom and 
religious liberty and truth, by a pleasing historic vehicle, were 
the chief ends and purposes of this publication, which was 
promoted by the best aids the inhabitants of Tiverton generally 
would give from private documents in their possession and by 
the free admission to public libraries, and met with great 
acceptance and approbation. This volume was printed and 
the history closed with the year 1790.' 

Dunsford's History of 'Tiverton is, indeed, a very valuable 
work, and one which, for thoroughness and accuracy, has 
few equals among local histories. The industry with which 
the author collected facts and the systematic manner in which 
he grouped them are just what one would expect in a good man 
of business ; but they are none the less very valuable qualities 
in a historian, and may fairly be held to make amends for 
his rather ponderous style and love of improving the occasion. 

Dunsford's views on the French Revolution illustrate very 
well the attitude of the Whigs generally on that momentous 
question :— 

'The year 1789 was remarkable for the commencement of 
the great revolution in France, the extraordinary progress of 
which arrested the attention and excited the fears or hopes of 
most of the inhabitants of Europe. Early in the year 1793, 
soon after the execution of Louis xvi., the impolitic conduct 
of the English Ministry, the corruption of the people, and 

93 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

their servility to the views of an invidious administration, com- 
menced a war between Great Britain and France, for indefinite 
ends and objects which were artfully shifted, as the horrid 
events of this cruel and bloody contest of despotism against 
liberty throughout Europe, obliged the ministers to have 
recourse to, for the continuation of the war, the real design of 
which was undoubtedly to re-establish the monarchical tyranny 
of France, and to prevent the re-establishment of just and 
rational freedom in the several kingdoms of Europe. Thus, 
instead of the blessings of peace and just neutrality, and the 
great trading advantages this country might have obtained by 
the revolution in France and the disputes of the continental 
states and kingdoms, besides a commanding general influence, 
a train of calamities and distresses ensued, particularly to the 
trading inhabitants of Great Britain of which I had as large an 
allotment as any of my rank and station in life.' 

These two portentous sentences exhibit his style at its 
very worst, but they also show how convinced Dunsford, a 
fair example of intelligent Liberalism, was of the wrongfulness 
of the war. There can be no doubt that the Opposition was 
right in asserting that the war was declared against opinion ; 
the point in which they were wrong was, as Dr. Bright has 
pointed out, that they did not recognise the fact that ' opinion 
grown to a religion, a religion become propagandist in its 
nature, and that propagandist religion in arms was the greatest 
social danger which could threaten the world.' 

If English interests suffered by the French occupation of 
Belgium, the Tiverton woollen trade, already on its last legs, 
was ruined. Dunsford's business was at a standstill ; the goods 
shipped for Holland were relanded at Topsham, piled up in 
his warerooms at Tiverton till nearly the end of the war, when 
they were sold at a heavy loss. ' Orders were retracted, and 
no room for speculation afforded, so that I was without 
business several years, living on property which could not be 
employed, and greatly distressed to raise supplies for what was 
locked up in various channels.' 
94 



MARTIN DUNSFORD 

To add to the difficulties of the situation, Dunsford had 
been for some years past suffering from a malady which, 
though not attended with much pain, 'gradually destroyed 
all bodily activity and rendered the mind incapable of that 
energy which my external distressing circumstances required. 
It prevented me from riding, walking, and all bodily exercises 
so necessary to preserve general health. I went to London in 
the coach in 1787, and continued there four months under 
the care of Mr. John Hunter, Surgeon to the King, and at 
great expense, but with little benefit. The disorder continued 
unknown and increasing, and deprived me of every favourable 
opportunity to better my external circumstances, though some 
offered to improve them highly beneficially.' 

The malady — it was a dangerous swelling — confined him 
to bed at several different periods ; but ' whilst thus greatly 
distressed in outward circumstances and grievously afflicted in 
body, my mind was generally cheerful, calm, and composed. 
I was fully satisfied of the wisdom and goodness of all the 
dispensations of Providence, and, I hope, patiently submissive 
to the will of God.' 

In spite of ill-health, however, Dunsford's interest in politics 
was as keen as ever, and in 1795, ^^° years after the outbreak 
of the war against France, he published an advertisement to the 
inhabitants of Tiverton, condemning war generally and the 
present war in particular. A meeting at the Town Hall was 
convened by the Mayor to petition for the restoration of 
peace, and a resolution to that effect, moved by Dunsford, 
was carried by a large majority. It was, however, ' opposed 
and prevented by the Clergy and Corporation without answer- 
ing the arguments,' a remark which, coming from one who 
had lately been churchwarden, shows the height at which 
party feeling ran at the time. That there was no love lost 
between Dunsford and the Corporation had been shown by 
their opposition to his election as churchwarden in 1784, 
while, in the two following years, the Clergy tried in vain 
to keep him out of office. 

95 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

In this connection mention must be made of a vestry 
meeting held at his request, June i, 1785, for the purpose 
of establishing various Sunday schools, not only belonging to 
the Church of England, but in all places of public worship. 
Nine schools, supported by voluntary subscriptions, were thus 
formed. 

On December 17, 1802, Dunsford married, in London, 
Miss Maria Sheckell, being at the time in his fifty-ninth year. 
But the domestic happiness that he had lost twenty years back 
was denied him now, for five years later he died, March 13, 
1 807, regretted and respected by all his fellow-townsmen. 

From his great-great-nephew ^ I learn that the Dunsfords 
were Royal Thanes under the Saxon Kings with estates in 
Devon and Yorkshire. The greater part of these estates 
were, however, confiscated by the Conqueror, the remainder 
being left to their possessors, who also kept their titles. In 
Doomsday Book and in the Exon Doomsday, is recorded the 
description of the Dunsford properties and the way in which 
they were held. 

1 Mr. G. L. Dunsford of Exeter. 



96 



JOHN EVELEIGH 

JOHN EVELEIGH is entered on the University register 
as a son of the Rev. John Eveleigh, Rector of Winkley, 
Devon. Some members of the same family had lived in 
Tiverton in the seventeenth century, one was warden of the 
parish Church in 1686, so almost as a matter of course the 
boy was sent to Blundell's, where he entered about 1760 (he 
was born in 1747). At the close of his school-days he was 
awarded the ' Ham Exhibition ' ; it was his first distinction. 
He matriculated at Wadham College in May 1766, where he 
had a brilliant career. He was elected scholar in 1767, won 
the Goodrich and Pigott Exhibition three times, in 1766, 
1767, 1769, and was ' Hody ' Exhibitioner from 1767 to 1770 
in which latter year he graduated.^ In 1772 he was elected a 
Fellow of Oriel, and proceeded to his M.A. degree as a 
member of that Foundation. In 1772 we find him Junior 
Treasurer of Oriel, and in the next year Senior Treasurer, 
becoming in 1775 Dean of the College, and so he remained 
until 1780, when he was elected Provost, by a unanimous 
vote of the Fellows, we may assume, for there is no mention 
of any contest, such as those appointments often lead to.^ 
Then at the age of thirty-three Eveleigh was head of the fore- 
most College in Oxford ; he held the Provostship till his death 
in 1814. 

Among later distinctions may be mentioned that of being 
chosen ' Bampton Lecturer'^ in the year 1792, and Select 

1 There were no ' Honour ' examinations in those days, nor for many years after. 

2 A few years before there had been a movement in favour of Gilbert White, a 
Fellow (author of the Natural History ofSelborne), as Provost, but apparently it came 
to nothing. 

^ Three Blundellians have in their day been selected for this duty, viz. 
J. Eveleigh; J. Pearson, 1808; F. Temple, 1884. 

G 97 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Preacher in 1804. He also held the Vicarage of St. Mary 
the Virgin (the University Church) from 177 8-1 781, and 
was Vicar of Aylesford from 1782 to 1792. We note also 
that his ' Bampton ' lectures appear to have enjoyed more than 
a passing reputation, for a second edition was issued (with 
four extra sermons) in 1792, and a third edition in two vols, 
in 1 8 13. He published also (1791) a volume of Sermons 
on the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and other volumes of 
Sermons in 1797 and 1806. 

His career was practically spent at the University, but we 
ought to mention that as Provost he was a residentiary Canon 
of Rochester Cathedral, and in the same way he held the 
benefice of Purleigh in Essex. At one period (we do not know 
the date) he was made a Prebendary of the same Cathedral, 
which, perhaps, has an interest as proving how, even in little 
things, history has a knack of repeating itself ; in those days, 
as so often since, a parochial charge formed an easy pathway 
to a prebendal stall. 

What were the features of his Headship as we know 
them ? Foremost in importance, but not in time, we are 
inclined to put the establishment of an ' Honour School,' an 
organic change in the life of the University, which corre- 
sponds with the period of his reign at Oriel. 

The tide has set since then so strongly in another direction 
that it is only with an effort that we can realise Oxford as it 
was in the last year of the eighteenth century, a place which 
knew not yet examinations. The requirements made by the 
University before a Degree could be given, whatever they 
were originally, had come to be almost nominal. There 
were students then, in deed as well as name (Eveleigh 
himself is an example of this), but these were evidently 
quite the exception, and the relation between under- 
graduates and tutors must have been of the most shadowy 
kind. 

Oxford may well be thought to have borne then some 
resemblance to the spot imagined by Tennyson. 
98 



JOHN EVELEIGH 

♦ They came unto a land, 
In which it seemed always afternoon, 
All round the coast the languid air did swoon. 
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.' 

It is perhaps well to remember that such days have been, 
even as we learn that in the last decade of the eighteenth 
century matters were ripening for a change ; already ' the old 
men were dreaming dreams ' of class lists, ' the young men 
saw visions ' of examinations. 

Provost Eveleigh is always to be remembered as the author 
of this change, ' one of the most strenuous originators of the 
present system of Honours.' It was his patience and persistence 
that accelerated and eventually carried through a scheme long 
thought of, and no doubt at first much resisted. In the 
common room at Oriel a movement like this naturally took 
root, and the Provost was supported in his efforts by Copleston, 
who became Tutor in 1797. The college had long enjoyed 
the privilege of choosing its Fellows from the University at 
large, and in Eveleigh' s time the principle was still further 
extended, by throwing open, in default of suitable candidates, 
Fellowships that had been limited to certain localities. It is 
recorded in some published letters of Copleston that Eveleigh 
was so much in earnest about the matter that he offered to 
make large benefactions, and to give rewards to deserving 
graduates, if the University would agree to the reform that he 
urged so strongly.^ 

Hardly less important, and probably earlier in time, should 
be mentioned the work that Eveleigh was able to carry out, 
in improving the standard of discipline primarily of the college, 
and so, ultimately, of the University. The common room at 
Oriel, which at first was hardly an exception to the lax notions 
then prevalent, soon became noted for what (in later phrase) 
has been called ' plain living and high thinking ' — the expression 
current in the University in the last decade of that century. 

1 At first merely an 'Honour' list was established (1802), five years later (1807) 
a second list of mathematical Honours was added. 

99 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

' The Oriel Teapot ' points out (if only by a gibe) the change 
that was already passing over the social life of the colleges. 

Among minor events in a long tenure of the Headship 
may be noted the gift by Lord Leigh of the library from 
Stoneleigh Abbey. It was among the first objects of Eveleigh's 
care, as Provost, to see to the erection of a building to contain 
these books. The foundation was laid in 1787, and the 
building still stands, an isolated portion of the college with the 
library in the upper portion, and the common rooms under- 
neath, just as arranged by its author. 

Provost Eveleigh is remembered also as a great benefactor 
to the college, his gifts are said (and in expressive phrase) to be 
' worthy of the man.' The ' Eveleigh books ' have ever since 
been a familiar feature of Oriel life, being rewards for various 
distinctions during a college career, one of them, which sounds 
perhaps strangely now, being to provide prizes for those 
undergraduates who produced the best and most accurate 
report of University sermons. This was continued down to 
1873, and has since been somewhat varied in its use. 

We ask now, Are there any personal traits of this man 
that have come down to us } Very few indeed. His memory 
seems to have lingered long, but as of a ' sweet and whole- 
some character,' firm and clear in its aims, quiet yet resolute 
in working them out, and in this connection we may record 
the close comradeship that existed between Eveleigh and 
Copleston, which was the more remarkable, inasmuch as the 
quiet persistence of the one found its fitting adjunct in the 
more forceful temperament of the famous Tutor. ^ 

But scanty is the record of any personal touches of a life 
and personality that must have had many charms. In a volume 
called ' Reminiscences ' by Rev. T. Mozley (' that amusing 
rattle,' as Matthew Arnold called him) mention is made of 
Eveleigh's fair complexion and light hair, but tradition has 
failed to take any definite shape or to repeat any particular 
sayings. One who had been an undergraduate at Oriel in 

1 Copleston was afterwards Provost, 1814-28, 
100 



JOHN EVELEIGH 

those days, when asked what he remembered of the Provost, 
could only show that he had left no strong or decided im- 
pression on his memory. All that he could recall was a 
fragment of some humorous verses, depicting the Heads of 
Houses of that day : — 

* Here comes fair Eveleigh with his blue hose.' 

We welcome the tribute of appreciation given by John 
Keble, towards the close of his life (1855) : 'I had known 
him as long as I can remember any one. He was, I verily 
believe, a man to bring down a blessing on any society of 
which he was a member.' 

The following are among the words spoken of him, after 
his death, by Copleston, his friend and comrade, and with 
them, as with an epitaph, we would draw to a close this slight 
memoir of one who was no unworthy son of Oxford, and of 
Blundell's : — 

' We have lost not only a bright example of piety, 
worth, and benevolence, but each one of us has lost a friend, 
while the College has lost an experienced and conscientious 
governor, who conducted its concerns for three-and-thirty 
years with singular uprightness and fidelity, and who pre- 
served its harmony uninterrupted, even among differences of 
opinion, by his own candour and invariable mildness of 
temper. There was no mixture of pride, of obstinacy, of love 
of power, no impatience of opposition, no separate interest or 
selfish motive ever intruded into his dealings with us.' 

We add yet another tribute outside his own College, that of 
the Senior Proctor, in the customary oration on those who had 
passed away in his year of office (18 15). After dwelling on 
his learning and piety, he goes on : ' We have lost a distin- 
guished man, whom the Church and University will long 
mourn, the mainstay and glory of our affairs, who needs not 
the commendation of me or of any other.' 



lOI 



JOHN DAVEY 

ANTIQUARIAN Biography is at once the most labori- 
ous and the most unreadable kind of history.' With 
this as a kind of danger-signal before us, we com- 
mence the task of setting down what after all these years is 
knowable of some old Blundellians who graduated between 
one hundred and thirty and one hundred and sixty years ago. 
Memoirs constructed on these conditions are apt to be full 
of dates, but void of any details of the man. Who has not 
often felt in reading a ' Life ' that it is weak when we desire 
it to be strong ? We crave for fragments of letters, scraps of 
conversation, an anecdote or two, to give the sense of personal 
contact, to make the portrait real. We can only try to get 
as near as we may, premising that very little is known, and 
we are almost left to grope in the darkness. 

John Davey was a native of Tiverton, born in the early 
part of the eighteenth century. His is a familiar Devon name, 
and the family would seem to have been long and honour- 
ably associated with the life of the town. The following 
details may not be wholly without interest. One John Davey 
was returned as M.P. for Tiverton in 1616 (one of two 
members). The same name occurs nine times in the list of 
Mayors ; five times in that of Churchwardens of the parish 
church between 1676 and 1776 ; as Town Clerk twice in the 
eighteenth century ; and eight times, between 17 15 and 1760, 
as * Governor ' and ' Treasurer,' offices that have long since 
passed into disuse and oblivion. The subject of our memoir 
was at Blundell's, presumably, from 1 745-1 749, for in the 
latter year he was entered at Balliol as Blundell's scholar. 
102 



JOHN DAVEY 

He was a pupil of Rev. W, Daddo,^ and that he had merits 
as a boy may be inferred from the fact (recorded in Incledon) 
that he was not only awarded the Scholarship to Balliol, but 
he was also the first holder of the ' Newte ' Exhibition. ^ 

John Davey graduated in due course, and probably resided 
as a Fellow, and took his part in the government of the 
College for some years. ^ 

Later he seems to have accepted the Cures of Brattleby 
and Fillingham, in the county of Lincoln, and in 1780 he 
became Rector of Great Wolston, and Vicar of Bledlow (both 
in Bucks). This reads strangely, perhaps, but there have been 
days in the eighteenth century, as well as long before (and 
since), when to be, as one has put it, 'gorged with prefer- 
ments ' conveyed no reproach at all, if it did not even add to 
the holder's credit. To continue, four years later Davey 
took the degree of B.D., and in the following year was elected 
Master of the College, and either before (or as a sequel to) 
that event he became D.D. He then resigned all parochial 
charges except Bledlow, which he kept to the end.^ It may 
be the parish was within easy reach of Oxford, and so 
he was able to discharge the duties of Head of a College 
and Vicar of a country parish. Such are pretty well all the 
recorded facts ; can we find any side-lights, anything that will 
help towards a personal knowledge of the subject of our 
memoir .? Perhaps it may enable us to understand more of 
those who lived so long ago, if we think of them as links 
with the past, and try to realise the days in which they found 
themselves and the Oxford in which they moved. 

John Davey lived in a period in more than one way memor- 
able. The Rebellion of '45 broke out when he was a boy at 

1 Headmaster, 1 7+0-1 757. An M.A. of Balliol College. Native of Cornwall, 
and a distinguished scholar. In his day the School was in high repute. 

2 Founded by bequest of Rev. John Newte, D.D., at the end of the seventeenth 
centur)'. 

3 Those who are curious as to dates will find them recorded in the new edition of 
the BliindelVs Register (1904). 

* A Master of Balliol in the nineteenth centur)' held the Deanerj' of Wells during 
the last nine years of his Mastership. 

103 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

school. He was a graduate at Oxford when the reign of 
George in. began. In middle life he knew of the revolt of 
the American Colonies and the momentous ' Declaration of 
Independence.' Later still, during the years of his Mastership, 
occurred the French Revolution, and, its sequel, the overthrow 
of an ancient Monarchy. Again : What was Oxford like in 
that time ? The following appears to be a reliable statement 
as to University life there, the exceptions that are known only 
proving the force of the rule. — Discipline, as we think of it, 
was hardly in existence. The Fellows of Colleges, all of them 
probably in Holy Orders, wore wigs as a matter of course. 
Blue coats, with brass buttons, ' shorts,' and shoes, with 
buckles, were the prevailing fashion. Carpets there were 
none, either in the common rooms or in the ordinary College 
rooms. The undergraduates, we find, rose early, but were 
much given to idleness. Dinner was at 2 p.m. (or 3 p.m). 
Perhaps strangest of all is it to hear that a portion of 
the Bible was read during the meal, a curious survival of 
doubtless a very ancient practice, dating from the day when 
Oxford knew something of the presence of the ' Regular ' 
Clergy. 

By way of amusement, and as a help to ' drive dull care 
away,' Oxford abounded in coffee-houses or taverns, where 
dons and undergraduates (each probably with their separate 
haunts) beguiled the afternoon or evening hours. It is easy 
to imagine that study must have been rare indeed, and a 
youth coming from school to Oxford may well have found 
himself in bewildering and dangerous surroundings. 

These were the times, such was Oxford, as John Davey 
knew it. How he demeaned himself we can only guess. 
History is silent ; whether out of cruelty or kindness, who 
shall say ? At all events he became Master of the College, he 
was the choice of the Fellows, and there is no record of any 
conflict at the time of his election, nor indeed of any failure 
during the years of his rule. Of an earlier period in the 
history of the College we are told that ' the common room 
104 



JOHN DAVEY 

simmered with discontent.' To say that he instituted no 
reform is to judge him unfairly, for the days of reform (in 
Balliol at all events) were not yet, and in a ruler, after all, the 
truest wisdom must ever be, not to force new methods but 
' to take occasion by the hand.' If the years were uneventful, 
at any rate they were free from disaster, and at the beginning 
of his Mastership we find signs of a common feeling springing 
up among the Fellows, a building fund was started for the 
restoration of the College, and as a result of the money so 
raised, Wyatt was set to work upon the front quadrangle, 
and the Library was restored ' with tolerable skill.' 

Among those who matriculated at Balliol in John Davey's 
Mastership was Robert Southey, and there is extant a humor- 
ous letter, written by him in doggerel style, describing his 
journey to Oxford and various incidents on the way, giving 
towards the end of the letter a whimsical account of his 
matriculation. We quote a few lines, as they add a sort of 
personal touch to our memoir, almost ' a thumb-nail sketch ' ^ 
of the then Master. 

' I go, God save me, 
To Doctor Davey 
Of Balliol College Head, 
And when he came, 
My own sweet name 
In modest manner said. 
Dear Tom, his Wig 
Is not so big 
As many Doctors more, 
And so I may 
Presume to say 
His wisdom is the more.' 

The next stanzas speak of the Master (kindly, as Southey 
thinks) summoning two of the Fellows, and to Southey's 
infinite delight, they proceeded to administer the usual oaths 

^ In a prose letter of Southey's, written about the same time, and speaking of his 
going up to Oxford, he says, ' I must learn to pay respect to men remarkable for great 
ivigs and little nxiisdom ' (italics are ours). 

105 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

' without examination,' and the narrative goes on to tell of the 
payment of fees, which was not dispensed with.^ 

* He then a book 
Very shabby to look 
Gave me, wasn't that kind ? 
For which nice gift 
Indeed I left 
But one pound four behind.' 

We have here (as we have already implied) a sort of picture, 
and it represents a man of a kindly demeanour, and one who 
compared not unfavourably with his contemporaries. In fact, 
the sketch that is thus given, seems to correspond (curiously 
enough) with a phrase used of him by Colonel Harding, in 
his History of Tiverton^ where he is said to be ' a pleasing 
sensible man.' ^ These are the very qualities that he apparently 
showed during his Headship. The state of the world outside 
the University may well have moved him to prudence in action. 
What we seem to gather from very scattered notices, and even 
from the silence of records (' happy is the people that have 
no history '), is that he was kind and courteous in manner to 
those brought in contact with him ; that without apparently 
any great force of character or influence, as from weight of 
learning, he yet showed himself a ruler discreet and Vv^ise, so 
that in public and private affairs alike he can be thought of as 
' rich in saving common sense,' the homely virtue that yet 
means so much, and is of value in so many of the phases of 
hfe. 

He died in 1798, and was buried, we fancy, at Bledlow, of 
which parish he had been Vicar for some years. 

1 We do not know how this compares with the matriculation fees of the present 
day. 

'^ The words look as if a record of some spoken opinion. 



106 



THOMAS COLBY 

RATHER more than a century ago — in the summer of 
1796, to be accurate — the Torrington boys then at 
Blundell's met in solemn council to decide whether 
one of their number, Thomas Colby, the son of a surgeon at 
Great Torrington, should accept an appointment in the navy 
which had just been offered to him by Lord Clinton. They 
decided that such an opportunity ought not to be let sHp, and 
next summer the lad, then in his fifteenth year, exchanged his 
rough school life for the still rougher schooling of the sea. 
He was an active, brave boy, passionately fond of field sports, 
and always ready for fun and fighting, just the material from 
which to form a fine sailor ; so the wisdom of his school- 
fellows' decision, if, indeed, that affected his choice, was fully 
borne out by the result. 

Those were the days of Midshipman Easy and Peter 
Simple ; the days when boys began their sea career as early 
as ten (Nelson himself was only eleven when he left home), and 
if they had luck or influence might be in command of a fine 
frigate by the time they came of age. There were no training 
ships, no examinations to pass before entering ; but they learnt 
seamanship from watching the sea in all its varying moods, 
and courage from the example of their captain. Nelson's 
training and influence were, in fact, evolving a great school of 
sailors who raised the prestige of the British navy to a point 
never reached before. On land our forces might fail if sent 
to Holland or to the south of France ; indeed, most of the 
ill-planned expeditions were fore-doomed to failure ; but on 
the sea the standard set was so high, men fought with a courage 
so superb, that one admiral, who fought a gallant action and 

107 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

took two ships, was court-niartialled because he had not taken 
more. 

Colby's appointment in 1797 was to H.M.S. Bedford^ and 
after a quiet cruise off the Azores, in the course of which a 
few Spanish merchantmen were snapped up, he returned to 
England at a moment when affairs were in a very critical state. 
Now the year 1797 marks the great victories of St. Vincent 
and Camperdown, but between them two formidable mutinies 
broke out in the fleet, at Spithead and at the Nore. In the 
latter of these two the Bedford was involved, though the firm- 
ness of the officers frustrated all attempts of the crews to take 
command of the ship. Matters went so far that Admiral 
Duncan, who was blockading the Dutch in the Texel, was 
deserted by all but his own ship and two frigates. He was, 
however, equal to the occasion, for by keeping one frigate 
busy, signalling to an imaginary fleet in the offing, he bluffed 
the Dutch admiral into the belief that a strong English fleet 
was awaiting him outside the port. Fortunately, the mutineers 
received no aid from shore, and presently the greater part 
returned to duty, in time to play an honourable part in the 
battle which was so soon to follow. Reinforcements did, at 
last, really reach Duncan, who, after refitting his ships, was in 
a position to attack. Meanwhile, the Dutch admiral, strongly 
urged by his Government, had put out to sea, and on the 
morning of October 11, 1797, the two fleets met off Camper- 
down. In this historic battle the Bedford took a distinguished 
part, and young Colby, then in his sixteenth year, took his 
full share of the passions and perils of a sea-fight. 

He was stationed in that part of the ship which suffered 
most, the forepart of the lower deck. One of his messmates, 
who had just been speaking to him, was killed by his side, 
and the loss of men was so great that the two foremost guns 
could not be worked. It was, in fact, like all the battles 
with the Dutch, very hotly fought out, and not until the 
Dutch admiral's ship was a mere hulk, and nearly every 
other vessel disabled, was the victory gained. So crippled 
108 



THOMAS COLBY 

were the English ships that eight out of the nineteen Dutch 
ships escaped. 

But the troubles of the Bedford did not end here. The 
wind soon freshened to a gale, scattering and endangering the 
fleet on a lee-shore. Many a tottering mast fell ; water rushed 
through shot- holes ; guns, being but indifferently secured, 
were in constant motion. The condition of the wounded, 
too, was terrible, for the cock-pit was crowded, the air almost 
unbearably foul, since it was impossible to open the lower deck 
ports, and it had been found necessary to apply oil to the 
burnt bodies of the men who had been blown up by an 
explosion of cartridges. 

The Bedford^ however, having her masts standing, took 
the dismasted Ardent in tow, though she herself was in a very 
leaky and wretched state ; so much so, that three days after- 
wards she was obliged to throw several of her guns overboard, 
and make signals of distress. The pilot in charge then desired 
that the Ardent should be cast off, but to this proposition the 
gallant captain of the Bedford refused to listen, and on the 
1 6th she was, with incredible exertion, safely brought into 
Yarmouth roads. 

In that quick forge and working house of character, a naval 
war, Colby learnt practical seamanship with a thoroughness 
that no theoretical training could impart ; under a fine 
sailor like Sir Thomas Byard, the coolness, bravery, and re- 
source that afterwards characterised him speedily developed. 
The shattered Bedford was surveyed at Portsmouth, and paid 
off at Plymouth ; on May 24, 1798, all her officers and 
men were transferred to the Foudroyant (80), which had been 
launched the previous March. She formed part of the squadron 
sent under Sir John Warren to intercept the French ships 
which were known to be on their way to assist the rebels in 
Ireland. An engagement was fought on October 12, under 
circumstances even more disastrous for the enemy than mere 
disparity of numbers ; for the Hoche^ the French flagship, 
shortly before the action, had lost some of her most important 

109 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

spars. ' Of the little squadron,' says Mahan, ' she and three 
frigates were compelled to surrender that day, and three more 
were intercepted later by British vessels, so that only two of 
the expedition regained a French port.' 

After this battle, Mr. Colby, senior, wrote a poem entitled, 
* To a Son at Sea,' the last four verses of which were not inapt 
to the occasion : — 

' But Heaven, I trust, hath future days in store 
For thee, my son, who on Hibernia's coast 
Hast also witnessed Heaven's Almighty power 
Against ambitious Gaul's invading force ; 

' And if once more, in answer to my prayer, 

Thy breast hath 'scaped the cannon's deadly aim, 
Oh, may thy heart and due remembrance bear 
From whence alone that preservation came. 

' Blow, then, ye fav'ring gales ! — auspicious blow 

To Albion's coast — oh waft the stripling home — 
Safe from the sea, the tempest and the foe, 
Methinks in fancy's eye I see him come. 

' I see the boat come gliding o'er the waves, 
With tears of joy he flies to my embrace ; 
Blush not, my son, for here the truly brave 
Ne'er to Affection's tear attach disgrace.' 

The stripHng, in due course, was wafted home, but not 
before his next ship, the sloop Hazard^ a vessel that did not 
belie her name, had twice nearly gone down with all hands, 
once while working her way out of Cork harbour, and again 
when caught in a gale on a lee-shore. 

In the same year Colby was appointed to the Prince (98) 
under Sir C. Cotton, and in the following August went with 
him into the Prince George (98). This battleship was con- 
sidered one of the finest in the king's service. She was about 
2000 tons, but she would be useless to-day against a ship like 
the Majestic, with a displacement of 16,000 tons, a speed 
of 17 knots an hour, and armed with guns that could destroy 
the whole of Nelson's fleet without sustaining a scratch herself, 
no 



THOMAS COLBY 

Nothing very memorable occurred till 1802, when, in 
consequence of the peace of Amiens, Sir C. Cotton struck his 
flag, and Colby returned home to Devon after five years of 
service as adventurous as the heart of boy could desire. 
In June he was appointed Admiralty midshipman of the 
St. FiorenzOy and went to attend the king (George iii.) at 
Weymouth. In September his ship conveyed 300 Dutch 
troops from Jersey to the Texel ; and, a month later, sailed 
under secret orders to the East. She reached Madras on 
April 17, 1803. 

In cruising along the coast of Malabar, on June 14, 
1 804, a suspicious vessel was discovered, and all sail made 
in chase, but the wind died away, and she was observed 
sweeping. The boats were at once despatched to board her, 
which, after a sharp struggle, they succeeded in doing, though 
she was well armed. 

This was the first of a long series of boat attacks, a form 
of fighting in which Colby greatly distinguished himself, 
though the naval annals of the time are filled with such 
attacks, the amazing audacity of which was only justified 
by their almost unvarying success. 

There is the story, for instance, of a midshipman in com- 
mand of a boat sent to get sand. Unknown to the captain 
arms had been smuggled on board, and, finding a vessel near, 
the temptation was too strong to be resisted, so the lad with 
only six men tumbled on board, drove forty Frenchmen 
below, and carried off his prize in triumph. It was in exactly 
the same spirit that Colby carried out the work for which, in 
1809, he was specially mentioned in despatches. On the pre- 
sent occasion the prize proved to be a French national lugger 
with a complement of twenty-five men. 

In the following year Colby was transferred to the 
Centurion (50), which some time after was ordered to Vizaga- 
patam to collect convoy for England. On September 18, 
while she was lying with two Indiamen, three large ships 
were discovered running down before the wind along shore. 

Ill 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

They were supposed to be Indiamen, and the boats were 
consequently sent to press men out of them. The Ceniurion 
had at the time her sails loose to dry, and the lower deck was 
all in confusion. As, however, the three ships came nearer, 
doubts began to be felt, and some preparations were made ; 
guns were also fired to make the strangers bring-to or show 
their colours. At length, up went the French colours and an 
admiral's flag. Boats were at once recalled, convoy directed to 
run ashore, chests thrown down hatchways, decks cleared for 
action with the utmost despatch. Not much hope appeared to 
any one that so overwhelming a force could be resisted, and 
the general opinion was that the old ship must either be run 
ashore or sunk, as the enemy was by this time made out to be 
a large line-of-battleship and two frigates. They approached 
rapidly, and the leading frigate advanced within pistol shot, 
with the intention of first raking the foe and then boarding 
her. But the Centurion was not to be captured so easily. 
The cable was cut and head sails run up, so that her broadside 
guns could be brought into play. Down the rigging in the 
utmost haste and confusion tumbled the would-be boarders, 
and off she fell to leeward. Then came the line-of-battleship 
and the other frigate, whose raking fire as they passed under 
the stern of the Centurion was rendered less serious by the fact 
that the English crew had been ordered to lie down on deck. 

For about an hour longer the action continued, and then 
the Frenchmen stood out to sea. The Centurion now dropped 
anchor outside the surf, and all hands set to work to prepare 
for a renewal of the battle. Colby was sent to the fort for the 
help of some guns on the beach. By this time one of the 
convoy had run ashore, and the other had struck her colours 
without firing a shot. Before long the enemy's squadron 
stood in shore for another attack. Anchoring abreast of the 
Centurion^ and assisted by one of the frigates, the battleship 
began a spirited attack, in the course of which a lucky shot 
cut the Centurion's cable. Nearly at the same time the line-of- 
battleship's cable was also either cut or slipped when she and 

112 



THOMAS COLBY 

her consort, to the astonishment of their little adversary, ceased 
firing, and stood out to sea. The Centurion was then run 
about a mile off the land, when, having lost both bowers, she 
was brought up by the sheet-anchor, and preparations were 
again made for battle. The enemy, however, did not think 
proper to return ; probably they never reckoned on catching 
such a Tartar, though they were in the offing at sunset, and 
kept the Centurion on the alert all night. This little action was 
just one of those desperate iights against odds which since the 
days when 

' The little Revenge herself went down by the island crags 
To be lost evermore in the main.' 

have been the glory of the British navy. 

In the course of the fight, the Centurion, besides losing ten 
men, had suffered so heavily that she was barely able to 
make the voyage home, where promotion awaited Colby. 

After being commissioned as lieutenant to the Thunderer 
(74), he sailed on June 13 to join the Channel Fleet off Brest 
for a short time, and then to reinforce the squadron under Sir 
Robert Calder. A month later the English fleet, consisting of 
fifteen sail of the line, two frigates, one cutter, and one lugger, 
made sail for Cape Finisterre to intercept the French squadron, 
which hove in sight on July 22, and was found to consist of 
twenty sail of the line with some smaller craft. The enemy's 
ship soon crossed ahead of the British, who in succession 
tacking after them, and gallantly led by Lord Gardner in the 
Hero (74), commenced action. But by this time the fog had 
so much increased that one ship could scarcely be distinguished 
from another. About 5 p.m. the Thunderer got among them, 
and fought for the next three hours, though the enemy was 
only visible occasionally when the fog lifted. It was discovered 
that two sail of the line had struck, and the Thunderer was 
ordered by Admiral Stirling to assist in securing them. The 
firing, however, did not altogether cease until about 10 p.m., 

H 113 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

when the Thunderer s loss was found to be seven killed and 
twelve wounded. Her mizzen-mast, foreyard, and main- 
top-sail were much cut. Colby, with his usual luck, escaped 
without a scratch. The fleet got into line as well as they 
could during the night, and were all prepared for a renewal of 
the battle. The next morning the wind was fresh from the 
westward, and the weather hazy, but the enemy showed no 
disposition to fight, and when, towards sunset, they bore up 
towards Cape Finisterre, no attempt was made to head them off. 
On reconnoitring Ferrol, it was afterwards found that the 
combined forces of the enemy amounted to twenty-nine sail of 
the line. Still it was quite expected that the fleet would be led 
into Bartheaume road to attempt the destruction of the enemy at 
anchor, but Admiral Cornwallis refused to be drawn under the 
fire from the batteries, and after a brisk action, seeing no hope 
of destroying the enemy, he withdrew his fleet, and stood out 
to sea. 

Such in outline were the events for which Sir Robert 
Calder was severely censured, both for the alleged unskilful 
manner in which the attack was made and also for declining to 
renew the action next day, and allowing the enemy to retire 
unmolested. On his return to England he was tried by 
court-martial and severely reprimanded. Colby always 
defended his chief, and probably he was right, for after a 
time an impression began to prevail that Sir Robert had 
received harsh treatment. 

Subsequently the Thunderer ]o\ntdi Lord Nelson's fleet and 
took part in the crowning victory of Trafalgar. She took a 
prize, which, two days later, she had the mortification of 
losing, being attacked by seven ships of the line and five 
frigates : it was enough to do to effect her own escape. 

A year later, after an unsuccessful attempt to cut off two 
Spanish ships that were lying outside the harbour of Cartha- 
gena, Colby took part in some daring boat service at Gaeta. 
Several gunboats had been observed under the batteries in the 
bay, so, after dark, the row boats of the squadron under the 
114 



THOMAS COLBY 

first lieutenant of the Thunderer, with Mr. Colby and others, 
made an attempt to bring them out. Shot and shell flew like 
hail, but the English boats dashed on, only to discover when 
near the beach, to Colby's mortification, that the hoped-for 
prizes were hauled up high and dry, and that nothing 
remained but to retreat as fast as possible. 

In the following January (1807) afl^airs with the Turks 
began to wear a threatening attitude, nominally because the 
Thunderer with a frigate had, contrary to the old rule, passed 
the Dardanelles, but in reality because our diplomatists at 
Constantinople had been outwitted by the French, and had 
failed to prevent the Sultan of Turkey from going to war 
with our ally the Czar. The British ambassador escaped 
on board a man-of-war, and when reinforcements arrived 
the whole squadron made ready for battle. A heavy 
fire from the batteries on shore met them in the Straits, 
and as soon as they had withdrawn out of gunshot, an 
engagement began with the Turkish Squadron. On this 
occasion Colby, in command of a boat, gained distinction 
by boarding and blowing up one of the frigates under 
a smart fire of musketry from the beach. 

A fortnight later Colby was wounded in two places by 
splinters from a heavy shot while passing once more the 
batteries of Sestos and Abydos. But by the time the 
squadron had reached Alexandria he was well enough to 
take command of one of the armed boats, an advanced post 
in dangerous proximity to the enemy's forts and gunboats. 
On the repulse of Colonel M'Leod, however, after three 
weeks of this anxious work, he rejoined his ship at Alexandria. 
For a year or more he cruised about in Mediterranean waters, 
and on returning home the Thunderer was suddenly sent off to 
the Texel. It was about the time of the equinoctial gales, and, 
having sprung a leak, the ship, under press of sail, fetched in 
for Yarmouth roads, but, failing to reach them, was obliged to 
bring up at the back of the sands. 

That same evening the wind increased to a gale, the ship 

115 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

was driven out to sea, and in the darkness struck hard on a 
sandbank. There seemed not the sHghtest hope of saving 
either ship or crew, but by luck and good seamanship she 
found her way through the shoal, and the danger was for the 
moment averted. It was known, however, that there were 
two shoals close together, but on which the ship had grounded 
could not be ascertained. 

That same night another alarming shock was felt, caused 
by the running down of some vessel in the darkness. At day- 
break, signals of distress brought assistance to the strained 
and leaky Thunderer^ and two days later she cast anchor safely 
in Yarmouth roads. This was the last of the old Thunderer^ 
and the close of three eventful years of Colby's life. 

Next year, when commissioned to the brig Cadmus^ ofF St. 
Helen's, Jersey, an event happened which, for sheer daring, it 
would be hard to surpass. 

Colby was dropped after dark in command of a boat to run 
in shore and see if anything could be snapped up. Towards 
the middle of the night a number of vessels were discovered 
coming down shore under a fine easterly wind. As they drew 
near, the leading vessel was made out to be a man-of-war 
schooner, and she was readily enough allowed to pass on. 
Now was the time to row to windward and board one of her 
twenty-five convoys, among which, however, might be 
expected three or four other armed vessels. Much precaution 
was necessary for a six-oared double-banked cutter, alone 
amidst such a force, as there was great danger of being run 
down. Three attempts to board failed, but the fourth time 
Colby and his men dashed in under the bows of one of them 
(force not known), scrambled on board, and before the crew 
could make any resistance a fine armed transport brig was in 
their hands. As soon as the men were secured below, the sails 
were trimmed, and the Bien Venue gradually withdrew from the 
convoy. The admiral commanding the station signified by 
letter his approval of Mr. Colby's gallant conduct in this 
afi^air. 

ii6 



THOMAS COLBY 

On his return to England Colby received an order to 
proceed to the West Indies on promotion, but next May, 
while at Jamaica, the disagreeable intelligence came that there 
had been a change in the Admiralty, and that his name, in 
consequence, had been omitted from the promotion list. 

To renew his interest he returned home and was soon 
appointed first lieutenant of the Jjax, then on the Mediter- 
ranean station, where for the next eighteen months he remained 
either at Port Mahon or Sicily, or taking part in the blockade 
of Toulon. At last, the day after the surrender of Genoa, he 
received a commission as commander of the new French brig 
Sphinx, sixteen guns, which had never before been to sea. At 
Port Mahon the brig dragged her anchor, and to make matters 
worse, the capstan suddenly gave way. Colby, however, was 
equal to the occasion, and his prompt and decisive measures 
kept the vessel off shore. The rest of her voyage home was 
uneventful. Captain Colby hauled down his pennant and 
retired to Devon on half-pay. 

It is a matter for wonder that an officer so distinguished for 
courage and seamanship should fail in all his future efforts to 
obtain a command, but such was the case. In 1816 he went 
to the West Indies to examine into the state of his friend. 
Lord Rolle's property, in the Bahamas, and on his return 
home, remained there quietly for several years. 

Colby had two brothers, both of whom were dead, and in 
1824 his father, a well-known surgeon of Torrington, died at 
the age of 74. Two years later he married, and resided partly 
at Plymouth and partly with his brother-in-law, the Rev. C. E. 
Palmer, at Wear Gifford. In 1832, however, he returned to 
live at Torrington, and was in 1834 elected Mayor, the last 
of the old Corporation. 

It is not without interest to note that not until 1 849 did he 
receive his medal with five bars for the following services : — 

1. Camperdown. 

2. Sir John Warren's action. 

3. Defence of the Centurion. 

117 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

4. Trafalgar. 

5. Boat service in the Mediterranean. 

In 1850 he was appointed one of the commanders of the 
Royal Hospital at Greenwich, remaining there until, in failing 
health, he resigned and returned once more to his old Devon 
home. That same year, on September 21, he breathed his last 
at the ripe age of 82, and was buried at Great Torrington. 



118 



JOHN RUSSELL 

PICTURE an immense man sitting on the low wall of 
Lowman Bridge, before the alteration of that structure, 
on the occasion of Tiverton horse fair. To him enter 
one George Bennett, a bullock-jobber from the wilds of Know- 
stone, who, pulling his forelock, remarks affably, ' Good morn- 
ing, your honour. Hope your honour 's well ' — at the same 
time extending his hand. 

His honour waves him off : * Take back your hand ; th' 
old sores baint healed 'it.' 

Ladies and gentlemen, forgive me. You thought, perhaps, 
that I was talking to you of Russell, whereas I referred to 
' Jack ' Froude. However, there is a method in my madness, 
and I beg you not to suppose that I am simply playing with 
you. The fact is, that, in writing of the Rev. John Russell, it 
is not more necessary to define what he was than what he was 
not, so many stories are recorded of him from time to time in 
the press that, did he know them, would cause that good man 
to be continually turning in his grave. I say not that these 
knights of the ink-horn are mendacious, though they may be 
careless — ignorant they certainly are. Truth to tell, Russell 
is fast becoming mythical. Bear with me, then, if I try to 
discriminate a little. 

Why, it may be asked, should this particular sportsman be 
laden with all the sins and iniquities, real or imputed, that 
were distributed in earlier days amongst a whole galaxy of 
hunting parsons.'' The reason is to be found partly in his 
fame and partly in his — not quite the same thing — name. 
The younger generation remembers nothing of the bruisers 

119 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

who formerly ministered in our parish churches, and whose 
lax interpretation of duty is accountable for the many unsightly 
chapels, to the bootless vexation of their successors, plastered 
over the countryside. ' Jack ' Froude may be called to mind, 
at any rate in his county, as an extremely ' outward ' man, not 
even taking into consideration his cloth ; but * Jack ' Radford 
is become dismally dim and shadowy, though not many years 
ago his exploits in the ring were the theme of admiring yokels, 
and the scandal and tribulation of Little Bethel. If you would 
learn what manner of man he was, you may sample him thus : — 
A sturdy vagabond of fifty, with just a touch of the cleric in 
his attire, in an old broken-down straw hat, no collar, sitting 
in the bar of the village inn, smoking a long clay pipe, and 
occasionally taking a pull at the tankard of ale before him. 
This reverend gentleman was ' Jack ' Radford as he was seen, 
more than half a century ago, by my grandfather at Lapford. 
If you will trace the stream of history one reach nearer its 
source, you will come upon ' Jack ' Whitaker, who, in his dis- 
putes with his parishioners, relied literally, and with unvarying 
success, on the arm of flesh, the most prolific cause of jars 
being the tithe-pig. Or perhaps, under the circumstances, the 
motto be appropriate, Chenhez la femme. 

Now Russell had the misfortune to be christened John, 
and, as a well-known sportsman and rare companion, came to be 
styled, in an ever-widening circle of friends and acquaintances, 
' Jack ' Russell. This was all right, but inevitably the descrip- 
tion spread, until, at the height of his popularity, nobody 
dreamed of alluding to him save in this curt, familiar way. 
Strangers and the more juvenile folk drew the not unnatural con- 
clusion that the parson who went by the name of ' Jack ' Russell 
was, socially and morally, scarcely distinguishable from the other 
Jacks of the moor, of whose conduct no one spoke terms of 
stronger reprobation or more scathing contempt than himself. 

This was entirely to mistake his place and pedigree. I 
use the word ' pedigree ' somewhat loosely of his forerunners 
in the church, who shared his devotion to the chase, and 

120 



JOHN RUSSELL 

amongst whom, as it happens, was his own father. Of Russell's 
parentage anon ; in the meantime let us consider the kind of 
influence, outside his home, that confirmed him in a pursuit 
which is held by many — quite legitimately from their point of 
view — to be inconsistent with his sacred profession. Probably 
the sportsman who, in his inmost essence, most nearly re- 
sembled Russell in the generation immediately preceding his 
own, was the Rev. Henry Farr Yeatman, a Dorsetshire master 
of hounds, whose kennels, I believe, were at Sherborne. Luckily 
or unluckily, Mr. Yeatman did not live on into democratic 
times, so that he was never generally known, like the vener- 
able Admiral Keppel, as ' Harry,' and, not having been indis- 
creetly baptized, escaped the horrible pitfall ' Jack.' 

Yeatman resembled Russell in that he achieved what never 
should be difficult — the combination of the gentleman with 
the sportsman. He seems, moreover, to have been as good 
a Christian as he was a gentleman ; not ecstatic, perhaps, but 
in the sense of leading a godly, righteous, and sober life, 
which is more than can be said of all hunting parsons, though 
it may, with certainty, be predicated of Russell. The elder 
held two advantages compared with the younger man ; he had 
considerable pretensions to scholarship, and was the possessor 
of ample means. On the other hand, both had been educated 
at Blundell's School, which is always a strong bond even 
between people of differing tastes. The tastes of these mighty 
hunters exactly corresponded ; and, favoured with the friend- 
ship of one whose hands and mind were alike pure, and whose 
reputation was as burnished steel, Russell, had he wished it, 
could not easily have lapsed into dissolute ways. If we are 
desirous of classifying him, and Russell was not markedly 
original, let us think of him with Henry Farr Yeatman, and 
let us mi think of him with Jack Froude, Jack Radford, Jack 
Whitaker, or any Jack of them all. 

Enough of the negative aspect of the subject. The posi- 
tive aspect, which has been kept waiting, some may say, too 
long, must now engage our attention. 

121 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Born at Dartmouth on the 21st of December 1795, John 
Russell was the son of the Rector of Iddesleigh, North Devon. 
His father, an excellent classic, read with pupils and kept 
hounds — not at Iddesleigh, but at Dartmouth. In a few years 
John Russell, senior, removed to Southhill Rectory, near 
Callington, where the hunting was prosecuted more vigorously 
than ever, and ' sweet Academe ' receded more and more into 
the background. After a preliminary training at home, John, 
the son, was sent to Plympton Grammar School, in whose pre- 
cincts he learnt to reverence Sir Joshua Reynolds, the chief 
glory of the place. There also he celebrated his first fight, 
his antagonist being John Crocker Bulteel, a scion of as tough 
a race of sportsmen as even the West Country can boast. How- 
ever, at the conclusion of the mill, the honours rested with 
Russell. 

From Plympton, when he was fourteen years old, the 
victor in this boyish battle was transferred to Blundell's, where 
the master. Dr. Richards, had succeeded in making for himself 
a name as a finished Orbilius. If they flogged at Plympton, 
and report says that neither cane nor birch was spared in the 
South Hams, the flagellations were mild as compared with 
those at Blundell's, and Russell soon found that he had been 
promoted from the frying-pan into the fire, or, more aptly, 
from whips to scorpions. It is only fair to add that he gave 
his preceptor every encouragement in the application of stripes 
to his person, for stern as he knew the discipline to be, he 
defied its utmost terrors in the pursuit of his sporting inclina- 
tions, and thus obeyed the great Reformer's maxim, Pecca 
for titer. 

It is an old story how he and Bovey kept hounds ; and 
how, when the murder was out, and Bovey had been expelled, 
Russell successfully advanced the plea, which was true in sub- 
stance and in fact, that he was an object rather for pity than 
for condemnation, inasmuch as the traitorous Bovey had stolen 
the dogs, and sent them home to his father. Not less familiar 
is the tale of Jack's revenge on Bully Hunter. That pro- 
122 



JOHN RUSSELL 

mising young gentleman owned a family of rabbits, whose 
domestic peace Russell rudely disturbed by introducing into 
their midst a horde of ferrets ; when Hunter, with tears in 
his eyes, complained of this enormity to the grand inquisitor, 
Richards, though he had straitly forbidden the keeping of live 
stock, instantly discharged on Russell the vials of his wrath, 
and, being most untowardly provided with a stout riding-whip, 
laid it about the culprit with vindictive severity. In later 
days, when master and pupil met on more equal terms at one 
of the school anniversaries, Richards, who had by this time 
retired, was disposed to make light of his castigations, but 
Russell, still smarting in spirit from his exemplary methods of 
correction, refused to minimise them, and declared that he 
was the only man he (Russell) was ever afraid of. 

* Nonsense ! ' exclaimed the doctor, not wholly displeased. 
* Was I really so terrible ? ' 

' Yes,' replied Russell, ' you were. I 've set-to with some 
of the hardest men in England, and never found one who 
could hit like you.' 

This leads us back to his term of residence at Oxford, 
where the undergraduates — at any rate, the men in Russell's 
set — had no idea of taking life learnedly. Perhaps, however, 
this statement is too absolute. Russell and his friends were 
not above picking up hints from the huntsman and first 
whip to his Grace of Beaufort, or from an equally erudite pair 
in the service of Sir Thomas Mostyn, whilst the practice they 
got over the Oxfordshire hills and on the Old Berkshire side 
with Mr. John Codrington was so abundant as to leave but a 
modicum of time for the study of books. Hence it was a 
favourite saying of Russell's that ' it was no marvel Oxford 
was so learned a place, for men brought up a fair stock of 
school learning, but carried little away with them.' 

But it was not in the hunting-field alone that the Blundellian 
dissipated knowledge. He exhibited prowess in another, and, 
in some ways, more questionable arena. Trained by that 
master of the science, Rowlands, he helped to vanquish in 

123 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

pugilistic warfare the chosen men of Christ Church — Russell 
was at Exeter — and then was smitten most horribly on the jaw 
by his own best friend and ally, Denne of Lydd. These 
amenities were exchanged by all parties in a spirit of the most 
cordial good fellowship, and, hostilities being ended, the battered 
heroes dined together. 

Notwithstanding these fearful pleasures, which did not, in 
his case, degenerate into toleration of the prize-ring, Russell 
contrived to take his degree, and forthwith returned to Devon- 
shire, there to enter on the double career which was to ter- 
minate only with his life. As a clergyman he won no special 
distinction, though the fame of his simple eloquence once led 
his diocesan, the celebrated Dr. Phillpotts, to occupy a seat in 
his church, and shower upon him his hearty congratulations. 
This, however, signified little. Though he preached accept- 
ably and discharged with scrupulous fidelity the pastoral duties 
of his country cures, he never, so far as I know, received the 
oifer of a prebendal stall, and before he came to taste the 
comforts of a fat living was already an octogenarian. 

In the world of sport, on the contrary, his success was 
pronounced, and but few names, whether of parsons or lay- 
men, have been inscribed so indelibly in the annals of hunting. 

Ordained in 1 8 1 9, he was licensed to the curacy of Bishop's 
Nympton, near Southmolton, where the Rev. W. B. Stawell 
was rector. If my memory does not deceive me, this gentle- 
man was an expert in birds of game, and pitted his fosterlings 
against the fiery pets of Dr. Troyte, of Huntsham. Such 
combats were not in Russell's line, and although his small 
stipend appeared to forbid expensive undertakings, he started 
a pack of otter-hounds, which, after the inclusion of ' Racer,' 
justifiably aroused the keenest anxiety in the leathery denizens 
of the Mole and neighbouring streams. At Knowstone, too, 
the Rev. John Froude, a sorry clergyman, 'tis true, but an 
incomparable sportsman, was master of a pack of superlative 
hounds, and many a grand run did the curate enjoy in com- 
pany with one who, whatever else he may have been, was ever 
124 



JOHN RUSSELL 

a kind and hospitable friend to Russell. Strange as it may 
seem, even these resources did not suffice, for Russell's in- 
satiable love of hunting induced him to form a fast alliance 
with that paladin of the chase, Mr. Templer, thirty miles av/ay 
at Stover. 

The time was now rapidly approaching when Russell was 
to encounter his matrimonial fate, and where should it await 
him save in the hunting-field ? To be sure, there was formerly 
a degree of prejudice against the presence of ladies at the 
covert-side, and we find no allusion to the fair sex in Somer- 
ville's classic description of a meet. It would seem, however, 
that then, as now, the gibes of their jealous sisters at ' nasty 
old hares ' and ' stinking old foxes ' were entirely inefficacious 
in deterring martial young ladies from 'harking away' with 
the men. They certainly had no effect on Miss Penelope 
Incledon Bury, a gallant admiral's daughter, who one fine May 
morning in 1826 'harked away' with Russell in a still more 
interesting fashion. 

The same year was also a hunting Hegira, for Russell, having 
removed to Iddesleigh, felt he had outgrown otters, and com- 
menced business as a full-blown master of fox-hounds. 

It were long to tell of his many adventures by flood and 
field, and the festive joys wherewith the indefatigable Nimrods 
crowned the day. The Chulmleigh Club, and, later, the still 
more famous Southmolton Club were popular, and yet select, 
institutions, which fanned into a flame the hunting ardour of 
the squirearchy, both near and far, and among the choicest 
spirits that frequented their headquarters Russell had an 
assured place. Not that he allowed himself to share in the 
deep potations by means of which the more jovial blades 
beguiled the night ; it was not like Russell to merge the 
parson so completely in the bon camarade. But this proper 
restraint cost him no man's regard, it rather increased the 
admiration felt for him, and after a time he came to form one 
of a supreme triumvirate, his colleagues being Sir Walter 
Carew and Mr. Charles Trelawney. 

125 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Sir Walter's splendid pack, subsequently passed to his 
relative, Mr. Tom Carew, of Collipriest ; and it may interest 
Blundellians to learn that, in February 1853, Russell entered 
into a compact with the masters of the Tiverton and South 
Devon hounds — his own pack was known as the North Devon 
hounds — for holding a fortnight's hunting tournament at 
Dulverton, the Melton of the West. They were to hunt by 
turns, and the enthusiasm of the gay little centre at the pro- 
spect, and during the continuance of the festival, may be 
guessed. I have no information concerning the result, and 
know not which pack departed with the best record of kills, 
but sportsmen like John Russell had sufficient respect for 
Master Reynard not to grieve overmuch at his escape, pro- 
vided always that it was due to his own cunning exertions. 
' Respect ' is, perhaps, in some cases, hardly a strong enough 
term, for it is a sure and certain fact that harassed hunters, 
in pursuit of a stout moor fox, were subject to misgivings 
that somehow Satan had become identified with the animal 
that was leading them such a dance over the heather ; and, 
under these circumstances, the advantage of having in the 
company a person qualified to exorcise the evil sprite, though 
not by bell, book, and candle, was universally realised. 

Dwelling for many years on the confines of Exmoor — at 
Swymbridge — Russell devoted no small portion of his leisure 
to the chase of a nobler quarry than the fox — namely, the red 
stag. Fox-hunting, of course, is carried on during the dreary 
months of winter, and, as the old song admonishes us, a 
westerly wind and a cloudy sky proclaim a hunting morning. 
Not so with stag-hunting, which commences earlier, and is 
prosecuted all through the season by many accounted the 
loveliest of the year. What an enthralling vista of golden 
autumnal mornings must have opened out before John Russell's 
mental eye, as he looked back on his long career ! This con- 
stant exercise made for health and strength, and his fine bodily 
condition enabled him to interpose with effect in those emer- 
gencies which are always possible in this mimicry of war. 
126 



JOHN RUSSELL 

Probably the most exciting incident of Russell's life was that 
in which, at his own conscious peril, he rescued from the 
desperate lunges of a stag at bay an old cider-logged fool, who 
was attempting to caress it. This courageous feat of Russell's 
youth took place in Brembridge Wood, near Castle Hill, and 
ought always to be associated with the locality. 

Russell's stag-hunting fame was the means of gaining him 
the acquaintance of our present king, then Prince of Wales, 
at whose invitation he twice visited Sandringham. Here, 
without gravely committing himself, he certainly forgot one 
or two points of etiquette which his wife had sedulously im- 
pressed on him ere his departure from Devonshire, but his 
Royal host, being happily endowed with the faculty of distin- 
guishing an old man's noble simplicity from mere clownish 
disregard of propriety, retained Russell in the place he had 
won for himself as a prime favourite. 

Always sure of an ovation when he attended the Old Boys' 
meetings at Tiverton, he was frequently called upon to pro- 
pose the toast of * The Ladies,' which he invariably did in a 
way that testified to his innate courtliness of disposition and 
excellent breeding. I can well recall his tall form on the 
occasion when he preached the anniversary sermon, and how 
he sat at the luncheon — a striking figure in his white cravat. 
Never was there a more honest or kindly face than his, and 
though it was then somewhat puckered with age, it showed 
such a flush of health as bore eloquent witness to his manner 
of living. He looked, indeed, the very picture of an Old 
Boy, pleased and happy — 

* Qui se vixisse beatum 
Dicat et exacto contentus tempore vita 
Cedat uti conviva satur.' 

We are all much too discreet and diplomatic, especially 
those of us who inhabit towns, where we sort ourselves into 
sets and sects, and live in and for these alone. The air of the 
country is unfavourable to this fatal segregation ; and Russell, 

127 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

like a wise man, got right home to Nature. It was not for 
nothing that the gipsy chieftain left him his ratcatcher's belt, 
and begged for burial at his hands in Swymbridge churchyard. 
And so it fell out that when in 1883, at the age of eighty- 
eight, he passed away at Black Torrington — to the rectory of 
which place he had been presented four summers before by 
Lord Poltimore — in spite of all prohibitions there went up from 
the great heart of Exmoor a prayer that will be echoed by his 
schoolfellows to all generations — May he rest in peace ! 



128 



FRANCIS FULFORD 

THIS good man, the value of whose life is not to be 
measured by the events it contained, was born at 
Sidmouth on October 3, 1803. -^^ made no great 
stir in the world ; his name, except as the first Metropolitan 
of Canada, does not figure in the pages of history ; the greater 
reason, therefore, that the annals of a full yet unobtrusive life 
should be placed on record in his old school. 

He was the second son of Lieutenant-Colonel Fulford of 
Fulford Magna, an old Devon family, long settled near Exeter. 
Entering the School in 18 17, he remained there till he 
matriculated at Oxford from Exeter College in February 
1 82 1. Among his school-fellows were Dr. Dicken, and his 
life-long friend, Dr. Jeremie. His career at the University 
was distinguished, but the call to parochial work came, and 
he resigned his Fellowship on his marriage in 1830. 

His first curacy was at Holne, a picturesque village near 
Ashburton, on the south-east border of Dartmoor, which at 
that time maintained a curious annual custom called the Ram 
Feast, a relic, apparently, of the ancient heathen sacrifice to 
Baal. In 1832 he was instituted Rector of Trowbridge, Wilts, 
where he remained ten years, gaining the respect, and 
conciliating the good-will, of all, both as clergyman and 
magistrate. 

After a three years' stay in Cambridgeshire as Rector of 
Croydone, he was appointed, in 1845, n^ii^ister of Curzon 
Chapel, Mayfair. This gave him opportunities for extending 
the interest he had always taken in the Church abroad, and on 
the foundation of the Colonial Church Chronicle and Missionary 
Journal^ 1848, he was appointed editor. 

I 129 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

As domestic chaplain to Her Royal Highness the Duchess 
of Gloucester, his sterling qualities were brought into notice, 
and in 1850 he was appointed the first Bishop of the new 
diocese of Montreal, 

A curious plate in the Illustrated London News of that date, 
depicts his consecration in Westminster Abbey on July 25, 
and by September 12 he had reached his new sphere of work. 
Formed out of the old unwieldy diocese of Quebec, the 
bishopric of Montreal covered in itself some five hundred and 
thirty square miles, so the work of organisation into parishes 
and districts was no light one. The Bishop, however, was a 
good business man, and possessed an evenness of character 
which enabled him to carry through all the measures needful 
for organising the Church. His first visitation, held in 1852, 
won the respect of all parties by his declaration that the 
Church of England in Canada, politically considered, ' existed 
but as one of many religious bodies.' 

* To the casual observer,' wrote one who knew him well, 
' he seemed languid in temperament, and unready in expression. 
Yet when the call of duty came no one was more ready.' 
The fact is that he was not a man of restless enthusiastic energy, 
but quiet and self-controlled, of set purpose and steady aim. 
When he visited the United States, the Americans were struck 
by his simple, unpretending manner, which, without rhetoric 
or assumption of dignity, commanded attention and respect. 

He found time to co-operate with all the various societies 
of Montreal, and in 1857, himself laid the foundation stone of 
the new cathedral, an object which he had very much at heart. 
Rebuilt in what seemed splendour to the Canadians, the 
cathedral was opened, and the first sermon preached by the 
Bishop on Advent Sunday, 1859. But the cost of the building 
had been heavy, and though it was defrayed without financial 
disaster, yet the strain of the debt so preyed upon him that he 
practised the utmost economy in order to pay it off. 

By letters-patent in i860 the Queen promoted him to 
be Metropolitan of Canada, and on September 10 the first 
130 



FRANCIS FULFORD 

provincial synod was held. Chiefly on the recommendation of 
the Canadian Synod, the Archbishop of Canterbury called 
together the Pan- Anglican Synod in 1867, on which occasion 
Dr. Fulford revisited England. Most probably he overtaxed 
his strength by the labour which the visit entailed ; at any rate, 
he never again enjoyed good health, and died at Montreal on 
September 9, 1868, amid signs of regret from all religious 
bodies regardless of creed. 

His writings were few, consisting chiefly of sermons and 
addresses on various occasions ; indeed, the nature of his work, 
in the organisation of a large diocese, left little time for literary 
effbrt. In private life he was dearly loved for his gentleness 
and simplicity of character. Children were at home with him 
at once, and even strangers were drawn to him by the sympathy 
which he extended to all. ' Men of more remarkable gifts,' it 
was said at the time, ' may hereafter occupy the throne, but it 
will be hard to find one so wise and careful, so moderate and 
fair, so full of gentle courtesy and kindly sympathy.' 



131 



THE CHESNEYS 

THERE are several men who consider themselves marvels 
of greatness — men who are still living — concerning 
whom I should be rather pleased than otherwise to 
write a memoir of them if they were dead. Under such 
circumstances it would give me a positive delight to dilate 
upon their virtues, to try and explain how ill the nation could 
afford to spare them, what a void was occasioned when they 
joined the great majority, and what they might have done had 
they been only spared to do it. The editor of this book, how- 
ever, has restricted my latitude and longitude in this respect, 
and has only given me two characters to deal with ; but they 
are two good ones, two of the best Englishmen that were ever 
bred, and they were both Blundellians — Colonel Sir Charles 
Cornwallis Chesney, and General Sir George Tomkyns 
Chesney, K.C.B. They were both ' day boys,' and lived in a 
house close to the church. They were at school with the late 
Archbishop of Canterbury and several other well-known men 
from 1835 to about 1838. The Rev. Henry Sanders, after- 
wards Archdeacon Sanders, was Headmaster, and Dr. Boulton 
was in charge of what was then known as the Lower School. 
Blundell's in those remote ages, as we consider them nowadays, 
was somewhat different to what it is now. There was, for 
instance, no train to Tiverton, and my father tells me he had 
to travel by coach from Bristol, a long and cold journey in 
winter, and without much attraction when he reached his 
destination; for they had to 'rough it,' in 1835, ^^^^ '^ 
vengeance at Schola Blundellina. No, I am wrong, there was 
an attraction — an attraction to all the boys in the school. Upper 
and Lower — Miss Antonia Boulton, afterwards Mrs. Chap- 
132 







C 

(J 

u 
H 



THE CHESNEYS 

man. May I be pardoned for taking her name in vain ? 
But ' Apropos ' ; Dr. Boulton gave a party to the boys in 
his house one evening, and invited others in Sanders's house 
and some of the town contingent, the Chesneys, I believe, 
amongst them. Miss Boulton wrote to Mr. Sanders and 
asked if he would allow Temple and a few of the bigger 
scholars whom she mentioned to stay till ten o'clock. ' Dear 
Antonia,' wrote Sanders, in reply, ' rules are rules.' So the 
future Archbishop had to turn out and turn in at nine p.m. 
sharp, whilst my father and the rest of the guests stayed on to 
ten, and I have no doubt had a really good time of it. But 
here comes in a tiny bit of a joke. Miss Antonia Boulton, as 
I have indicated, became Mrs. Chapman, and years after was 
entertaining at dinner the Bishop of Exeter (Dr. Temple) and 
Archdeacon Sanders. In the course of conversation his lord- 
ship observed, ' You may remember, Mrs. Chapman, that, 
when I was a boy at Blundell's, Sanders would not allow me 
to stay out till ten o'clock at your house ; he said, " Rules are 
rules." You see, now, I am the ruler, and that is why I have 
made him an archdeacon.' 

Well, Shakspere says, ' Some men are born great, some 
achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them.' It 
is in the second category that I would place the Chesneys. 
Since I was asked to write their history I have carefully 
studied their lives, and they are both marvellous examples of 
dogged perseverance, persistent energy, indomitable pluck, 
everything that is great and good in human nature. 
Everything that is calculated to make men loving and beloved 
they possessed to the fullest extent, and yet withal they were as 
modest as children ; they never really realised their strength ; 
they never appreciated how popular they were with the British 
army and with the nation whom they so loyally served ; and 
nobody knows, never will know, what good those two men, 
in an unostentatious way, brought about — changes which have 
counted for much, and will count for more before another 
decade passes over our heads. At any rate I am sure that 

133 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

they have added materially to the well-being of our country. 
I will take the two brothers in chronological order. 

Sir Charles CornwaUis Chesney, who was born a Michaelmas 
goose on the 29th September 1826, entirely belied his historic 
origin, in that he proved himself, throughout his career, one of the 
smartest officers in Her Majesty's service. He was the third 
son of Captain Charles CornwaUis Chesney, on the retired list 
of the Bengal Artillery. After he left Blundell's he went to 
Woolwich, and obtained his first commission in 1845 ^^ second 
lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, passing out of the Academy 
at the head of his form. Much to his disappointment he had 
no chance of smelling powder, as he was stationed in New 
Zealand during the Crimean War, whilst India was barred to 
Artillery and Engineers. Among the various reforms in our 
military system which followed from that war was the impetus 
given to military education. Army history was for the first 
time introduced into the course of education in our military 
colleges, and in 1858 Charles Chesney, who had brought him- 
self under notice by an essay on the subject, was appointed 
Professor of Military History at Sandhurst. In 1864 Captain 
Chesney, as he was then, succeeded Colonel Hamley in the 
corresponding chair at the Staff College. The published 
writings of these two distinguished officers were received 
with great favour by the authorities on the Continent, and 
in America Chesney evidently thought that the pen was 
mightier than the sword, for he wrote an account of the war 
in Virginia, which was a decided success and went through 
many editions. The work, however, which gained for him a 
reputation as an author was his Waterloo Lectures^ prepared 
from a series of dissertations delivered at the Staff College. 
Chesney's lucid and vigorous account of the momentous 
struggle, while it illustrates both the strategy and tactics 
which culminated in the final catastrophe, lays bare the mis- 
takes committed by Napoleon, and points out that the dis- 
positions of the Duke of Wellington were not altogether 
faultless. There was pluck in this, which was much 
134 



THE CHESNEYS 

commented on at the time. There is a good deal in the 
volume which the present Emperor of Germany might read 
with advantage and with a certain amount of pride, because 
Chesney was the first to credit the Prussians with their proper 
share of the victory. These lectures, as I have said, attracted 
as much attention abroad as they did at home, and by com- 
mand of Napoleon in. another account was written, and 
published in Paris immediately afterwards, for the purpose 
of upholding the Napoleonic legend that the battle was won 
by the French. 

Chesney was for many years a constant contributor to the 
newspaper press and to periodical literature, devoting himself, 
for the most part, to the critical treatment of military opera- 
tions and professional subjects generally. His style is forcible, 
easy, and eminently clear, his judgment always impartial and 
sagacious, and although his criticisms may be open to the 
remark that as he never was in action, and therefore could 
not realise the difficulties of an army in the field, or make 
sufficient allowances for the blunders of generals, still his 
statements, as a whole, have never been successfully con- 
troverted, so that he may be fairly entitled to the distinction 
of being a critic sans peur et sans reproche. In 1868 Charles 
Chesney, who, on promotion to field rank, had returned to 
regimental duty, was appointed a member of the Royal Com- 
mission on Military Education, which sat during that and the 
following year under the presidency, first of Earl de Grey, and 
afterwards of Lord DufFerin, to whose recommendations are 
due the improved organisation of our military colleges and the 
development of education throughout the principal military 
stations of the British army. In 1871, immediately after the 
conclusion of the Franco-German War, he was sent on a 
special mission to France and Germany, and furnished to the 
Government a series of valuable reports on the different siege 
operations which had been carried on during the campaign, 
including, especially, the two sieges of Paris, and on the con- 
dition of the fortresses and military condition and organisation 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

of the two powers. Only a few copies of these reports were 
received, and all confidentially. 

Colonel Chesney never sought regimental nor staff prefer- 
ment, and never obtained any ; but he held at the time of his 
death a quite unique position in the army, altogether apart 
from, and above his actual place in it. He was consulted by 
officers of all grades on professional matters, and his ready and 
vigorous pen was often placed at the service of the Government 
to illustrate and defend in the press the different measures of 
reform which were carried out by the late Lord Cardwell. 
He certainly raised the intellectual standard of the service, to 
which he was so devotedly attached, both as regards officers and 
men, and his death at the early age of forty- nine was felt as 
keenly by the army as it was by the nation, who fully realised 
that they had lost one of its ablest and most devoted servants. 

The Times of March 21 says: 'We regret to announce 
the death of Colonel Charles Chesney, R.E., from a sudden 
chill caught while travelling in the severe weather of Sunday 
week. It produced pneumonia, under which Colonel Chesney 
sank about noon on Sunday last. Colonel Chesney had been 
associated with all the recent reforms initiated by the War 
Department, and it is scarcely too much to say that his early 
death is a public loss.' In the Times of March 23, too, 
appears the following paragraph : ^ We are requested to state 
that the late Colonel Chesney, R.E., will be buried to-day in 
St. Michael's churchyard, Yorktown, and not in the cemetery 
adjoining the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. During the 
time that Colonel Chesney was a Professor, both at the Royal 
College and at the Staff College, he lived (about ten years) in 
Yorktown, and took an active part in the schools and other 
philanthropic works.' 

The funeral was solemnised on March 23, 1876, at Sand- 
hurst. The hearse was conveyed from London by the South- 
Eastern Railway to the Blackwater Station, near the Royal 
Military College, and was there met by the officers and men 
of the Royal Engineers from Aldershot, when the procession 
136 



THE CHESNEYS 

was formed and marched in slow time through the little 
village of Yorktown, past the Royal Military College, to the 
picturesque cemetery in the wood adjacent to that building. 
The procession was headed by a large body of the Royal 
Engineers, with arms reversed, followed by the bands of the 
Royal Military College and the Fusiliers, playing the Dead 
March in ' Saul,' preceding the coffin of the deceased officer, 
borne on a gun-carriage drawn by six horses of the Royal 
Engineer's train, the coffin being covered with the Union 
Jack, and bearing the cocked hat and sword, followed by the 
deceased officer's led charger, with boots and spurs reversed 
according to the custom of military funerals. Nine field 
officers of the Royal Engineers, namely. Colonel Grant, 
deputy adjutant-general, Colonel Ewart, Colonel Sir Howard 
Elphinstone, Colonel Schaw, Colonel Farrell, Colonel Home, 
Colonel Mayors, Colonel Courtney, and Colonel Phillips, acted 
as pall-bearers. The remains were followed by Colonels 
Francis and George Chesney, as chief mourners, and a 
large number of his relatives and friends. The funeral was 
attended by Sir R. Simmonds, Inspector-General of Fortifica- 
tions (a Somerset man who was buried last summer in the family 
vault in the churchyard at Churchill) ; General Sir Duncan 
Cameron, G.C.B., General Napier, Governor of the Royal 
Military College ; General Sir T. Steel, commanding the 
Aldershot Division ; General Lysons, C.B. ; Colonel Hamley, 
Commandant Staff College ; Colonels Harman, Middleton, 
Wodd, V.C. ; and a large number of officers of Engineers, 
and other branches of the service. There was a large con- 
course of persons of all ranks, which testified to the strong 
feelings of esteem and affection with which the deceased was 
regarded. He has been described as ' the best military critic 
of his time.' He was Commandant of the Home District 
Royal Engineers, 1873. 

His principal works were A Military View of Recent 
Campaigns in Virginia and Maryland^ 1863; The Military 
Resources of Prussia and France ; The Recent Changes in the Art 

^31 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

of War ; Essays, by Charles Chesney and Henry Reeve ; 
Waterloo Lectures ; and Essays in Modern Military Biography. 

His brother, General Sir George Tomkyns Chesney, K.C.B., 
was born in 1830. He lived longer, and, in consequence, 
attained higher rank in his profession. He is best known, 
perhaps, as the author of a book called The Battle of Dorking, 
which created a perfect furore in military circles when it was 
first published. It was issued anonymously, and no one, until 
the secret was out, could hit upon the author. It was a 
description of a German invasion of England, and set all our 
tacticians seriously 'on the think,' as the Yankees say. It 
was translated into several foreign languages, and opened the 
eyes of the War Office authorities a good deal wider than 
is their 'wonted wink.' It showed them how things could 
be done, and would be done if they did not wake up. It 
accelerated their movements somewhat, which in those days 
was something to be proud of. As I have already stated. Sir 
George was at Blundell's. He afterwards went to the Wool- 
wich Academy. He joined the Bengal Engineers in 1848. 
He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 1854, and 
served throughout the siege of Delhi, where he was twice 
severely wounded. He was promoted captain in 1858, and 
in 1872 became major in the Royal Engineers; lieutenant- 
colonel in 1874, colonel in 1884, ^^^ general in 1885, having 
in the meantime been appointed principal of Cooper's Hill 
College, and then secretary to the Military Secretariat, 
Government of India — a post which he resigned in 1885. 
His great work on Indian policy was published in 1868. In 
1887 he became a member of the Council of the Governor- 
General of India. When Sir George came back to his native 
country he could not be idle, and so sought Parliamentary 
honours. He was returned for Oxford City as a Conservative 
at the General Election of 1892, when he beat a Gladstonian 
Liberal by 120 votes. He died in 1895. 

I must almost apologise to my readers for not having 
made more of the two interesting subjects which the editor 

138 



THE CHESNEYS 

of this book has honoured me by committing to my charge. 
I can only say I have done my best with both, but I have felt 
all along that to write a really satisfactory or unsatisfactory 
memoir of a man, one must have known him, studied him, 
been on friendly or unfriendly terms with him. It has not 
been my privilege to have met either of the distinguished men 
whose lives I have endeavoured to indicate ; but of this I am 
sure, from what I have read of them, Blundellians may reckon 
them amongst the many old boys of whom the school is justly 
proud, and whom the nation has delighted to honour. 



139 



ABRAHAM HAYWARD 

ABRAHAM HAYWARD, the last survivor of the 
generation of wits and diners-out which flourished in 
the second quarter of the last century, came of an old 
Wiltshire stock, and was born near Salisbury in the year 1801, 
his father having sold the family estate at Hilcot, North 
Newton. His remarkable Christian name — which, by the 
way, he hated — was the surname of his mother's family. At 
the age of seven he was sent to a private school at Bath, and on 
leaving there entered Blundell's in the year 181 1. It is on 
record that he found both the discipline and the diet severe ; 
indeed, in after life he ascribed his permanent ill-health to the 
hard school fare. In the Life of Dean Hook, who, with his 
brother, was Hayward's contemporary, the same complaint is 
raised, and the boys were soon removed, but Hay ward remained 
till January 18 17. Dr. Richards, the Headmaster, was a man 
of excellent parts but a strict disciplinarian, against whom it is 
remembered in Tiverton, after nearly a century, that he not 
uncommonly began the day's work by flogging half a dozen 
boys. Hay ward was very likely a witness of the scene when 
the Headmaster, returning from his daily ride, heard a complaint 
made against Jack Russell, seized him by the collar and thrashed 
him out of hand with a heavy whalebone riding-whip. 

Severity is stamped on every feature of the portrait of 
Dr. Richards in the big schoolroom, and of him it may be said, 
as Coleridge remarked of a Christ's Hospital master, that it 
was fortunate that the cherubs who conveyed him to heaven 
were nothing but head and wings, or he would infallibly 
have flogged them on the way. But setting aside the discipline 
140 



ABRAHAM HAYWARD 

and regimen, Hayward always spoke well of Blundell's, 
praising its strong traditions and the manliness of the senior 
boys. The studies of the school made him a good Latin 
scholar, while from the rivers of Tiverton he learnt to become 
a capital swimmer, a skilful fisherman and diver. 

On leaving school he was articled to Mr. Tuson, a solicitor 
at Northover, and remained for seven years a member of his 
family. In this he was fortunate, for he was thrown among 
literary people, and had at his disposal a library well stocked 
with the English classics ; on these he feasted, and laid the 
foundations, doubtless, of that knowledge of English literature, 
for which he afterwards became so remarkable as to call forth 
the opinion that ' for the purposes of cultivated society the late 
Lord Macaulay and Mr. Hayward were the two best read men 
in England.' 

In 1 824 he entered himself as a student of the Inner Temple, 
eager to enter the society of all who were distinguished for rank 
and talent in London, and in 1832 he was called to the Bar. 
Now a few years previously he had become a member of the 
London Debating Society, and was thus thrown into contact 
with some of the most aspiring minds of the day. Hayward 
himself, it is interesting to note, was at the time on the Tory 
side. But reform was in the air ; the real influence of the 
French Revolution was making itself felt now that the genera- 
tion which remembered only its excesses was passing away. 
Closely connected with this movement was an impulse in the 
direction of law reform which led to the establishment in 1828 
of the Law Magazine, under the joint editorship of Hayward 
and another. By the time the fifth number appeared he had 
become sole editor, a position which he held till 1 844. 

This brought him into contact with many foreign jurists, 
and happening to come across a German tract on Jurisprudence, 
he translated it for the benefit of those who were unacquainted 
with the German tongue. His translation was a great success, 
and was followed by a visit to Germany, where he was received 
with enthusiasm by the jurists of Gottingen, and as an outcome 

141 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

of the visit he set about making a translation of Goethe's Faust 
into English prose for his own use. As the work proceeded, 
it occurred to him to publish it with a preface and notes, and 
accordingly, after having been for test purposes privately- 
circulated among friends, the book appeared in 1833. It met 
v/ith a success as complete as instantaneous. Congratulations 
poured in from the most eminent poets and men of letters, 
while the undoubted result was to stimulate in England an 
appreciation of German literature, and, incidentally, to open to 
the translator the door of that * world of elegance and ease ' 
which he had set himself to enter. 

Was it not Thackeray who confessed to the weakness of 
wishing to walk down St. James' Street arm-in-arm with a 
Duke ^ But this was nothing to the achievement of Hayward, 
who, in a letter to his sisters under date March 31, 1838, 
remarks : ' I rode through the park yesterday with Count 
D'Orsay to the admiration of all beholders, for every eye is 
sure to be fixed upon him, and the whole world was out, so that 
I began to tremble for my character.' For fifty years he kept 
his place in English society, rising by force of will into a 
position almost unique, on easy terms of friendship with the 
most eminent men and women of the time. Privileged he 
was, too, for he gradually outlived his unpopularity, and was 
measured by a standard of his own ; so that for many years 
before his death his judgment on men and books came to be 
regarded as final, a court from which there was no appeal. 

Few men suffered more from the misrepresentation of 
enemies. A professional diner-out, a tuft, a cynic, a retailer 
of after-dinner anecdotes ; these are some of the terms that 
have been applied to him. As ' Mr. Venom Tuft ' he was 
assailed by Samuel Warren, and as Mr. St. Barbe in Endymion 
by Lord Beaconsfield, between whom and Hayward there was 
mutual hatred. This arose partly from an article written by 
Hayward on Disraeli in the Edinburgh Review^ April 1853, 
which sent the supporters of that brilliant statesman into a 
frenzy of rage, while a few months later, in the Morning 
142 



ABRAHAM HAYWARD 

Chronicle^ he exposed a plagiarism of which Disraeli had been 
guilty in his eulogy on the Duke of Wellington. 

The facts of the case were simple enough. A few years 
previously the Morning Chronicle had published the translation 
of an eulogy pronounced by Thiers on Marshal Gouvion de St. 
Cyr, Disraeli, either careless of the consequences or trusting 
to the stupidity of the British nation, had ' lifted ' this transla- 
lation, and quoted it almost word for word in his eulogy on the 
Duke of Wellington. It was a piece of plagiarism sublime in 
its audacity and worthy of Disraeli. But the old writers on 
the Chronicle took counsel, and secured the insertion of the 
speech and the translated passage. Every attempt was made 
by friends to explain it away, when an article by Hayward in 
Erasers Magazine laid open the whole affair, and showed that 
the plagiarism was not merely taking a thought, but copying a 
complete passage. It was an expose that would have ruined the 
political career of any other man but Disraeli, who, though he 
carried it off boldly at the time, never forgave Hayward. 
Regarded critically, the article is convincing and slashing 
enough, but hardly in the best style of a writer who excelled 
in what may be called the sub-acid style. Hayward never fell 
into the error of bludgeoning his victims, as Macaulay did, to 
name only one of those writers who, in the spirit of the special 
pleader, prove their case to the hilt, and yet carry no convic- 
tion, least of all to the victim, of the justice of their case. 
There was no bitterness, no over-statement ; always calm, 
Hayward's satire was so finely pointed, the stab so delicate, 
that by the thick-skinned it was scarcely felt. 

' It was just the same with his after-dinner stories,' wrote 
one who knew him well, ' which were told in a manner 
peculiarly his own. There was not a word of unnecessary 
detail, not a single redundant adjective. This severity, so 
to say, of style was that of a man accustomed to a cultivated 
audience. The anecdotes were cut down to the very 
skeleton ; there were none of the tricks of the professional 
raconteur. His conversation, too, had the same epigrammatic 

143 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

spice about it which gave distinction to his stories. Faults he 
had, no doubt, and angularities of temper ; but they were not 
those assigned him by his enemies.' He has been called 
superficial by critics who were, perhaps, themselves the best 
judges of superficiality. But his range of knowledge and his 
accuracy were wonderful, and it was his very mastery of the 
subject that enabled him to play with it, with the result that his 
writings are amusing as well as instructive. 

He was intrepid, too, in championing his friends, working 
for them, as his letters testify, sometimes even more than they 
desired or deserved. He might have taken for his motto that 
of Figaro, ' Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy,' and it was 
this very quality of thoroughness which led him to see in 
Disraeli only a -poseur^ a man whose life was essentially false. 

For some years Hayward lived in chambers in King's 
Bench Walk, practising successfully as a barrister, going out 
into society, entertaining his friends at delightful little parties 
which used to include ' perhaps three, sometimes perhaps only 
two, of the loveliest and most gifted women that London 
society boasted ; and of men, perhaps about five. You might 
meet Lockhart, or Macaulay, or Sydney Smith, or Lord 
Lansdowne, or Henry Bulwer, or (when the Peelite time 
came) Sidney Herbert and Graham, and the lawless but 
engaging George Smythe ; but feeling the value of novelty, 
he also would sometimes provide a new, and perhaps a young 
hero, a man perhaps great on the Continent, though hardly as 
yet known in London. By taking unbounded pains — and 
that, after all, is the secret — Hayward made it a certainty 
that, however unpretentious his dinners, the food and the wine 
should be the best of their kinds.' 

Writing to a friend, James Smith (one of the authors of the 
Rejected Addresses) mentions a dinner in May 1836: 'Our 
dinner-party yesterday, at Hayward 's chambers in the Temple, 
was very lively. Mrs. Norton was dressed in pink, with a 
black lace veil. Hook was the lion of the dinner-table ; 
whereupon I, like Addison, did " maintain my dignity by a 
144 



ABRAHAM HAYWARD 

stiff silence." An opportunity for a bon-mot, however, 
occurred, which I had not virtue sufficient to resist. Lord 
Lyndhurst mentioned that an old lady, an acquaintance of 
his, kept her books in detached bookcases, the male authors in 
one, and the female in another, I said, " I suppose her reason 
was she did not wish to add to her library." ' But this is not 
quite accurate. The joke was made by Lord Lyndhurst, and 
the story which gave rise to it was told by Hayward himself. 

In 1845 he was made a Q.C. on the ground of general 
ability rather than of large practice at the Bar. But the 
Benchers, by way of protest against the innovation, refused to 
elect him into their body, and Hayward, setting himself 
vigorously to redress this wrong, was plunged into a very 
sea of troubles that kept him angrily busy for many a year. 
Up to this time he had taken little or no part in politics, 
but after abandoning his career at the Bar, it was not 
long before he threw himself heart and soul into the great 
questions of the day. It is pleasant, incidentally, to notice 
that when a few numbers of Vanity Fair had appeared, Hayward 
wrote in the Edinburgh Review an article which hastened the 
recognition of Thackeray's reputation ; but other and more 
important matters soon claimed him. 

After 1846 the Tory party was split up into Free Traders 
and Protectionists, and Hayward, who had previously accepted 
the Free Trade doctrines, was drawn into close alliance with 
Sir Robert Peel and his supporters, and soon afterwards, having 
been appointed in 1 848 on the staff of the Morning Chronicle^ 
the newly purchased organ of the Peelites, he became directly 
engaged in party warfare. 

With characteristic vigour Hayward flung himself into 
the struggle, and at one political crisis, when the fate of the 
Government rested on the division, and to many the return of 
the Protectionists to power seemed certain, Hayward * sat out 
the debate, and with a bit of pencil and a few sheets of note- 
paper, wrote upon his knees then and there an answer to 
Lord Derby's speech, and walking off to the Strand with his 

K 145 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

copy at two o'clock in the morning, had the gratification to 
see in print the next day a clear and conclusive answer to all 
the arguments of the Protectionists on the previous night,' 
This article revolutionised at a stroke the whole art of leader 
writing, for it appeared concurrently with the speech it 
criticised, instead of a day later when the speech had done its 
work. Further, he played no small part in the negotiations 
which brought about the coalition between the Peelites and 
the Whigs ; and it was at a dinner in his rooms, it is said, 
that the alliance was cemented. As a member of the Carlton 
and Athensum Clubs he was in touch with the leaders of his 
own party, while in society and in the pages of the Morning 
Chronicle he urged with equal aggressiveness and literary 
ability the cause of his friends, the Peelites. 

Early in 1854 England was slowly drifting into war with 
Russia, and it was all important for the Government to know 
the real resources and opinions of our allies, the French. 
Hayward, trustworthy in all he undertook, was, through his 
intimacy with M. Thiers and other leading Frenchmen, just 
the man to be of service at this juncture, and his corre- 
spondence with M. Thiers, written for the use of the Duke 
of Newcastle, illustrates strikingly the invisible influences which 
modify the policy of a country. The letters about this time 
reveal the unique position he held in political circles, for not 
only was he a ' forcible writer and a man of matured judgment, 
but he had a practical way of looking at things, and an 
absolute independence of thought and speech.' 

After the fall of the Aberdeen Ministry, and the accession 
to office of Lord Palmerston, Hayward continued closely in 
touch with the leaders of politics, though his correspondence 
has a literary rather than a political interest. In a paper 
entitled * More about Junius,' he reopened the dispute as 
to the authorship of the letters, attacking the Franciscan 
theory in his usual trenchant style. 

Whether or no those envenomed letters were really written 
by Sir Philip Francis lies outside the scope of this essay, but 
146 



ABRAHAM HAYWARD 

the following quotation from a letter shows that Hayward 
succeeded, at any rate, in making some notable converts : — 

' Five out of six of the best intellects of my acquaintance 
think the Franciscan theory rudely shaken, if not demolished, 
Froude, Arnold, Kinglake, Grote, Dr. Smith, Sir F. Pollock, 
Cardwell, the Master of Trinity, the Provost of Eton, etc., 
being of the number. But many of the old Whigs and 
the Macaulayites take my pamphlet almost as a personal 
offence, I feel convinced they will lie and misquote in the 
Edinburgh, unless Reeve does it himself, he would be fair. 

I fancy it will be done by him with aid from , who is neither 

logical nor fair.' 

The expected reply came in the next number of the 
Edinburgh, and is dismissed by Hayward in a subsequent 
letter as ' simply a hash-up of Merivale's weakest points.' 
The controversy after the manner of its kind blazed fiercely 
for a while, burnt itself out, and was forgotten ; but one 
of the greatest literary puzzles of modern times remains to-day 
unsolved. 

In the year 1869 Hayward once more became a regular 
contributor to the ^arterly Review, and, until within a few 
months of his death, never missed supplying four articles 
a year. 

^ These Quarterly articles,' said the "Times of February 4, 
1884, in its obituary notice, 'are extraordinarily characteristic 
of him. He has written of the men of this generation, and 
one or two past generations, in the fulness of familiar know- 
ledge. Every here and there, when he is sketching some 
celebrity, and the subject of the sketch may be either an 
Englishman or a foreigner, we come on a personal experience 
brought in by way of illustration, or on a remark made to 
the writer. When the biography of any statesman or poli- 
tician appeared, when there was any book touching upon 
contemporary history, Hayward was the very man to review 
it. He had met most people, he had heard about everybody 
else, and as one of his intimate friends once remarked, his 

147 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

memory was only too morbidly accurate. So that some of 
his sparkling essays rest nearly as much on his social successes 
as on his literary skill.' 

Though he w:is by this time well advanced in years, being 
always one year younger than the century, his intellect was 
as keen as ever, and his interest in men and matters unabated. 
For instance, when the Liberal party was defeated in 1874, 
and Mr. Gladstone formally retired from public life, Hayward, 
in a letter to Lord Salisbury, prophesied that * about this time 
next year, if not before, you will find him as eager for the 
fray as ever.' 

All through his long life, Hayward, confirmed bachelor 
though he was, had enjoyed the friendship and acknowledged 
the influence of ladies. To his sisters he was always con- 
siderate and kind. His friendship with the brilliant and 
beautiful Mrs. Norton dated from his early days in London, 
while in middle life Lady Palmerston, and, afterwards, Lady 
Waldegrave, and Mrs. Grote, regarded him as their counsellor 
and confidant. 

His literary articles showed no signs of failing powers, and 
two brochures, 'The Second Armada (a jeu-d' esprit, suggested by 
Sir George Chesney's Battle of Dorking) and The Purchase 
System, sounded with no uncertain voice the note of reform in 
the services. The year 1 8 8 1 found him pursuing his old round 
of life, writing in the morning, playing whist in the afternoon, 
and dining in his usual corner of the Athenaeum at night. 
But a letter, written in Paris, strikes a note of pathos that 
the writer himself would have been the last to admit : — 

' It is one of the penalties of long life to have seen every- 
thing and known everybody — Connu Connu, is now my 
constant exclamation, and it is sadly destructive of energy.' 

Two years later, in 1883, we gather from his letters that 
Hayward was at Ostend, yachting with the King of the 
Belgians ; a few days afterwards he was in Paris, and spent 
a day at Chantilly with the Due D'Aumale. On his return 
home he finished his last article for the Quarterly Review ; and 
148 



ABRAHAM HAYWARD 

an invitation from Mr. Gladstone, who hopes soon to read 
his article on Marshal Bugeaud, inviting him to Hawarden, 

* while we have yet some leaves on the trees,' brings the 
correspondence, so far as it is published, to a close. Soon 
afterwards an attack of congestion of the lungs robbed him of 
almost all his remaining strength, and though he rallied for a 
while, and was even able to dine at the Athenasum every night, 
the effort was too great, and it was evident that the end was 
not far off. Nursed by his sister, and supported by two 
devoted friends, Mr. Kinglake and Lord Torrington, Abraham 
Hayward passed away on February 2, 1884. 

A lady who knew him well wrote shortly after his death : 

* One great charm of his society was, he flattered you by always 
speaking of some interesting subjects and never wearying 
you by trivial talk. He had a great power of adapting 
himself to his company. Still, he held his own, never giving 
way to either prince or potentate. It must never be for- 
gotten how true and constant he was to his friends, and that 
time neither touched his regard nor weakened his sense of 
right and wrong. He was a good lover and an honest hater.' 

His essays, of which the best are perhaps ' The Art of 
Dining,' ' Whist,' and ' Pearls and Mock Pearls of History,' 
will remain for all time models of scholarship and accuracy, 
the latter quality, indeed, he possessed in the very highest 
degree. His ' fierce love of truth,' as it was called, led him 
to exercise the greatest pains in all he wrote or undertook ; 
rarely, indeed, was he caught tripping. For two generations 
he was a great force in the world of letters, and in almost 
all he wrote his own personality was constantly in evidence. 
The corner which, with a small circle of friends, he always 
occupied in the dining-room at the Athenasum, is still remem- 
bered, though the epigrams and bon-mots made there have 
for the most part perished ; Blundell's, however, is not likely 
soon to forget the happy phrase in which he called his old 
school ' The Eton of the West.* 



149 



JAMES AMIRAUX JEREMIE 

THE decline in the population and prosperity of 
Tiverton which, from various causes, set in towards 
the end of the eighteenth century did not extend 
to Blundell's. 

Dr. Richards, appointed in 1794, started work with 108 
boys, a number which, ten years later, at the bi-centenary of 
the school, had increased to 150, and by June 181 5 exceeded 
200. But this steady rise in numbers was not the only 
product of the strict rule of Dr. Richards and his scarcely less 
famous usher, Mr. John Ley, who, himself a Blundell's scholar 
of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, had returned to his old 
school in 1788, and remained there thirty-six years. 

A long and worthy list might be made of the boys who, 
after passing through the hands of these teachers, won fame 
for themselves in after life ; but in the world of scholarship 
none were better known than Aldersey Dicken, afterwards 
Headmaster of Blundell's, and James Amiraux Jeremie, the 
subject of this memoir. 

Jeremie was born at St. Peter's Port, Guernsey, in the 
year 1802, descendant of an old Huguenot family long settled 
in that island. 

He entered Blundell's in the summer of 18 13, remained 
there seven years, during which he was known as a boy of 
modest, amiable character, and of brilliant intellect, until, in 
1820, he matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge. 

His University career was distinguished. He won the 

Norrisean Essay Prize in 1823 and 1825, the Hulsean Prize 

in 1824, and the Members' Prize in 1826, in which year he 

was also elected to a fellowship. Examining Chaplain to his 

150 



JAMES AMIRAUX JEREMIE 

friend, the Bishop of Lincoln, he was appointed to a prebendal 
stall there, and subsequently, in 1848, to the sub-deanery of 
that Cathedral. From 1843 to 1848 Dr. Jeremie held the 
living of Winwick, Northamptonshire, though he must have 
been absent for a great part of the time lecturing at Hailey- 
bury, then a College belonging to the Honourable East India 
Company, and the training-ground for many whose names 
have become household words in Anglo-Indian history. 

It was a distinguished staff that welcomed Jeremie when 
he, one of the most brilliant and learned of the Junior Fellows 
of Trinity, was elected in 1830 to the post of Professor of 
Classical and General Literature. At once his influence was 
felt by all who came in contact with him, for he was a man of 
varied learning, playful wit, and brilliant fancy. ' One charm 
of his lectures lay in their wealth of allusion and illustration,' 
writes one who knew him well. Egyptology, Indian philosophy^ 
Oriental commerce, all these were laid under contribution » 
Not content with borrowed information, he always consulted 
first-hand authorities, and the story goes that he used to be 
seen travelling in the Cambridge coach with large volumes 
not accessible at Haileybury. 

As disciplinarian his extreme sensitiveness, no doubt, 
placed him at a disadvantage in dealing with boisterous spirits,, 
and he was known to grieve acutely over some practical joke,, 
especially if he believed it inflicted pain on man or beast. In 
the pulpit he was so nervous and distrustful of his physical 
powers to go through the fatigue of preaching that he always 
took one or two shorter alternative sermons which he had 
preached before, and could, as he thought, be preached with 
greater ease. Further, he always exacted a promise from a 
friend to supply his place in case he should, at the last moment, 
break down. But as he warmed to his subject his mental 
energy overcame physical weakness, and every syllable was 
eloquent to his hearers. Language and substance were always 
of the best ; but it was the contagious enthusiasm of a highly- 
wrought poetical temperament that was the secret of his 

151 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

wonderful influence over his hearers ; and it was no mere 
ephemeral influence. As Dean of Haileybury he was thrown 
into contact with many of the men who became in after years 
the rulers of India; and the wise counsel he gave, or the 
burning word he spoke in the college, has proved, it may be 
believed, the best charter the millions of India could have had 
for regulating the vast power vested in the hands of his 
pupils. 

In 1850, having been appointed Regius Professor of 
Divinity, Jeremie returned to his old University, and for 
the next fourteen years Cambridge claimed him altogether, 
except for the months of his residence as Sub-Dean of Lincoln. 
In 1864 he was made Dean by Lord Palmerston, though he 
retained his professorship till the year 1870. This was not 
a very satisfactory arrangement, and there is no doubt that 
the pressure of this double work injured Jeremie's health, 
besides interfering with the duties of his professorship. Two 
years later, having been in failing health for some months, 
he died quite suddenly, and was buried in Guernsey, the land 
of his birth. 

He remained a bachelor, and, being a man of large private 
means, was able to give generously, as the two Jeremie Prizes 
for the study of the Septuagint amply testify. He wrote on 
many subjects, but only a few of his writings were published, 
as he was exceedingly nervous of criticism. The sermons, 
however, which he preached before the University were remark- 
able for their depth of thought and erudition, and have given 
him a high place among the great scholars that Cambridge 
produced during the last century. 



152 




This tablet with the window above are a 
tribute of admiration and affection 
To The Memory 

OF 

RICHARD DODDRIDGE BLACKMORE,M.A. 

Son of the 

Rev. JOHN BLACKMORE. 

Educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton; 

AND Exeter College, Oxford, (Scholar;) 

Barrister of the Middle Temple, i852; 

I author ofTORNA D00NE:"SPRINCHAVEN and other works; 
BORN AT LONCWORTH, BERKS, 7 JUNE, 1825; 

Died at Teddincton, Middlesex, 20 Jan.,i900. 

"insight, AND HUMOUR, AND THE RHYTHMIC ROLL 

OF antique lore, his fertile fancies SWAVI), 

AND WITH THEIR VARIOUS ELOQUENCE ARRAVt) 

HIS STERLING ENGUSH, PURE AND CLEAN AND WHOLE." 

"HE ADDED CHRISTIAN COURTESY, AND THE HUMILITY 
OP ALL THOUGHTFUL MINDS, TO A CERTAIN GRAND 
AND GLORIOUS GIFT OF RADIATING HUMANITY." 

Cradock Vowell. 



RICHARD DODDRIDGE 
BLACKMORE 

IN the bederoll of Blundell's Worthies occurs no name 
more familiar or more justly esteemed than that of 
the man who first caught the poetry of the school by 
the Lowman, and painted such a picture of it as the world 
will never forget. 

Lorna Doone is deathless, there can be no doubt. It is 
one of those great romances that stand out lone — like Dunkery, 
overtopping the lesser heights. The only story I care to bring 
into comparison is a story of European celebrity — Manzoni's 
Betrothed^ where bravi represent the Doones, and the sweetness 
and innocence of country-life are clearly mirrored. If Black- 
more's creation has not yet established itself on the Continent, 
probably it is for the reason that it is largely untranslatable. 
The solid framework of the periods, with their quaint, antique 
tournures, may perhaps be copied in other tongues, but the 
finer symbolism, enshrining the central property and master 
principle of the whole, must surely be lost in the transfer. 
The homeliness of Lorna Doone is for the nation to whom 
home is very nearly all. This sentiment the English share 
with their kinsmen across the main, and therefore it has come 
to pass that in America Lorna Doone is no less popular, no 
less classic, than in the motherland. Blackmore, by the way, 
though he felt sorely the injustice of the American law of 
copyright, owing to which he was never a penny the richer 
for the enormous sales of his books in the United States, did 
not go utterly unrewarded, since he was twice approached by 
American publishers with the offer of fifty pounds for a preface. 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Considering the vast sums of which he had been defrauded 
through this Transatlantic version of free trade, what wonder 
that he each time penned the preface and pocketed the pay ! 

Richard Doddridge Blackmore was born at Longworth, 
in Berkshire, in 1825. He was of West Country havage, 
being the son of the Rev. John Blackmore, who was the son 
of the Rev. John Blackmore of Oare. Both were clergymen 
of the Established Church. On his mother's side he was 
descended from a Nonconformist divine, so that his second 
name is not without significance. Well, one might easily 
have a worse ancestor than Philip Doddridge ; the only thing 
that surprises us is that the circumstance did not render 
Blackmore more sympathetic towards his great-grandfather's 
co-religionists at Culmstock. But one has to live in these 
little places to appreciate the tone of lofty superiority in which 
the orthodox indulge at the cost of their dissident neighbours. 
What, after all, would life be worth if there were not some 
people to serve as foils ^ The brilliant would no longer shine ; 
loyalty to the Church would be a virtue either unknown or 
unregarded. 

It was to Culmstock that the family migrated in the mid- 
thirties ; and thence it was that Blackmore proceeded to 
Blundell's school. The scarcity of gossip concerning Master 
Dick in his own village suggests that, as a boy, he was not 
prodigious, otherwise some admirer would certainly have been 
at the pains of gathering illustrations of his marvellous precocity. 
The deficiency has likewise reminded me of the statement 
of a dear old friend that Blackmore was ' brought up ' by 
his uncle, the Rector of Charles. It is evident that the 
expression ' brought up ' must be received with caution. At 
the time of the late Archbishop's decease the Rev. Mark Guy 
Pearse publicly announced that Dr. Temple had confided to 
him on an Exeter platform that he knew all about Wesleyanism, 
as he had been ' brought up ' by his aunt, a strict old Methodist. 
The truth is, on the contrary, that this great man was trained 
at home, and principally by his mother. In both cases 

154 



R. D. BLACKMOPvE 

* brought up ' probably means nothing more than that the boys, 
as was only natural, often spent their holidays with their 
relations, and, whilst there, were obliged to conform to the 
rules and regulations of the respective households. As regards 
Blackmore, he undoubtedly passed some of his vacations at 
Culmstock, for I have it on the authority of the Rev. 
Edward Plckard-Cambridge, who was Pickard then, that he 
used to stay with him at the vicarage. 

Not that the Rev. John Blackmore was ever Vicar of 
Culmstock. Those were the days of pluralities and non- 
residence ; and it is to be feared that the unfortunate curate- 
in-charge — that was Mr. Blackmore's position — was ' passing 
rich on forty pounds a year,' or rather passing poor on the 
inadequate stipend doled out to the responsible but unbeneficed 
clergyman. Nevertheless, Mr. Blackmore did mighty works 
at Culmstock — building a school, restoring the church, and 
promoting various charities, for all which he deserved and 
obtained the grateful benisons of the parishioners. And, on 
their departure from the village, ten years later, the family left 
behind them a reputation for goodness and amiability which 
has lasted to this day. I have heard from an ancient woman 
of the place that they were afflicted with a cupboard skeleton 
in one of the sons, but I have never attempted to penetrate 
this mystery, and decline to do so now. 

The fact should go down in history that Richard Blackmore 
entered Blundell's as the special protege of his sturdy neigh- 
bour, Frederick Temple, some four years his senior. They 
lodged together at Mrs. Folland's in Cop's Court, and Temple, 
no doubt, smoothed the way for his young companion over 
the first roughnesses of life. The school, as Blackmore him- 
self has shown, rejoiced in stern dealings, and ordeals of all 
kinds were plenty, so that to a new boy wise advice of necessity 
meant much. Blackmore's nickname at Blundell's was not a 
pleasant nickname, and, being too brutally frank for mature 
ears, must e'en be suppressed, together with the cupboard 
skeleton. Of his school-days I shall say no more than that he 

^55 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

excelled in that most characteristic exercise of old Blundell's — 
Latin verse ; and was a good swimmer and fisherman. 

His next move was to Exeter College, Oxford, whither so 
many Devonshire men (notably ' Jack ' Russell) had preceded 
him; and there, when he was two-and-twenty, he took a 
second class in Liters Humaniores. This has been described 
by one of his biographers as an achievement, though now it 
would be accounted merely an estimable success, and certainly 
cannot compare with Temple's triumph in bringing off a 
double first. Having apparently no suspicion of the latent 
powers within him, he was, in 1852, called to the Bar at the 
Middle Temple ; and for a dozen years laid waste his talents 
in conveyancing. Even when those twelve years of bondage 
had expired, and the Philistines could claim him no more, 
Blackmore did not at once leap into fame and fortune. Clara 
Vaughan, his first novel, came out in 1864, and the next year 
appeared Cradock Nowell^ which (for the sake of local people, 
be it said) has no connection with the Craddock nigh unto 
Culmstock. Neither of these tales attracted much notice ; and 
when Lorna Doone was offered to the publishers, there was 
something like a frost, no less than twenty refusals being 
registered against it. 

Happily Mr. Marston descried promise in the huge 
manuscript, which he bore home with him and read, as his son 
tells us, to his enraptured children of an evening. At length, 
on his advice, the firm in which he was junior partner, under- 
took to publish the romance ; and, accordingly, it was brought 
out. But the public still remained to be reckoned with. 
Blackmore might pipe, and Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston 
and Company might provide a floor, but ol iroWoi provokingly 
refused to dance. For two years this galling apathy was 
maintained, and then, in a fortunate hour, the Princess Louise 
was wedded to the Marquis of Lome. As the titles of book 
and peer had a like sound, foolish curiosity was all agog to 
find out what Blackmore had set down regarding the bride- 
groom's forebears, and, on the wave of loyal enthusiasm, the 
156 



R. D. BLACKMORE 

neglected work floated into general favour. It was a lucky- 
chance — lucky for Blackmore, lucky for his publishers, and 
luckiest of all for his readers, 

Blackmore can hardly be considered a prolific author. He 
wrote a fair number of stories — most, if not all, above the 
average degree of merit ; but neither before nor after did he 
compass anything at all approaching Lorna Doone. A very 
old friend of Blackmore once said to me, ' Pity he ever wrote 
anything else ! ' I cannot subscribe to this opinion, although 
I appreciate its force. Had Blackmore only written Lorna 
Doone the world might have gone on believing that he could 
have produced at will other works designed on an equally 
magnificent scale, and as exquisitely finished in detail. In 
Lorna Doone, however, he became his own most formidable 
rival, and the glory of that book was not to be repeated. 
Blackmore no doubt chafed at this state of things, which led 
him to place a lower value on his masterpiece, and a higher 
value on some of his other writings than independent revisal 
can justify. Nevertheless those other writings were worthy 
of his pen. 

Lorna Doone is, in some respects, sui generis. It is a 
romance of yeomanry, and that our courtly ancestors would 
have deemed a contradiction in terms. A ballad of yeomanry, 
perhaps ; but a romance of yeomanry — certainly not ! That 
a great lout of a John Ridd should wed a dainty lady like 
Lorna, would have appeared a terrible inversion of the canons 
of the art, whereby a boor was always to be presented either as 
deficient in looks or sottishly brutal. Physical bulk was not 
admired, and, to judge from mediaeval suits of armour, seldom 
attained. No, the giant was a dull, elephantine monster whose 
only cause to exist was to support, as a human quintain, the 
battery of Sir Percival. Yeomen, on the other hand, have 
ever a partiality for the merely big. They admire big sheep, 
big bullocks, big pigs ; and, if it be not too personal, where 
else can we meet with such extravagant backs and shoulders 
belonging to our own species as are to be marked — though, 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

perhaps, not so commonly as of yore — at fairs and markets and 
agricultural shows ? Can it be that Blackmore's marriage with 
a daughter of the Quartleys, those renowned cattle-breeders, 
influenced his point of view ? It is not improbable. Possibly, 
also, this alliance induced him to expend lavish and loving 
pains on his portrait of Annie Ridd, who, in my humble 
judgment, is fully as charming, even more charming than the 
Lady Lorna. Not one word would I utter against the all- 
gracious Lorna, but I have myself known, and still know, 
Annie Ridds, and I say without fear that in bidding farewell 
to youth there is no sharper pang than to realise that the fresh, 
pleasant faces, the friendly services, the artless gaieties of those 
true-hearted maidens must in future — but I do not believe it. 
I was going to say something about restraint and reserve. 

Of course there are other sides to country life, and 
Blackmore too lightly sacrificed the respectable Snows of Oare 
to the easy laugh of superfine and superficial patrons. I learnt 
from a correspondent the other day that he apologised to the 
family for the picture he had made of them ; and as his grand- 
father had been incumbent of Oare, as well as of Lynton, and 
he had known the Snows as lords of the manor, and as a 
stocky race of Devonshire yeomen, I consider that apology 
but due, and only wish it could be as permanent as the 
caricature. Outwardly Blackmore gave the impression of 
belonging to the same class. Tall, full-faced, broad-shouldered, 
often without coat, waistcoat, or collar — in a word, farmer-like 
— it is amazing that his entrance into literature dated from a 
physical breakdown. 

What is that we worship in Lorna Doone } The spacious- 
ness of the canvas, the patient, perfect etching of individual 
scenes, the intimate knowledge of things, the sure and 
constantly recurring touches of character, the wide and manly 
sympathy, the love of Nature in her milder and wilder moods, 
the ransom of Exmoor traditions, in which he himself believed, 
from imminent perdition, the sustained beauty of the old- 
world style — all these are admirable, but merely parts of a 
158 



R. D. BLACKMORE 

more splendid whole. For we are conscious Lorna Doone Is 
not a simple romance ; it is the attainment of what is highest — 
it is epic, eternal. The poetry which courses through every 
line in rich and palpitating life sometimes, as in Dickens's 
account of the death of Little Dorrit, involuntarily clothes 
itself in verse. 

' And the changing of the sky is half the change 
our nature calls for ; 
Earth we have and all its produce 
(Moving from the first appearance 
And the hope with infant's eyes, 
Through the bloom of beauty's promise 
To the rich and bright fulfilment 
And the falling back to rest) ; 
Sea we have with all its wonder 
Shed o'er eyes and ears and heart — 
And the thought of something more — ; 
But without the sky to look at, 
What v/ould earth and sky, and even 
Our own selves be to us ? ' 

Blackmore's formal poetry is of no great importance either 
as to quantity or quality. He began quite early with Poems 
by Melanter, Epullias, and The Bugle of the Black Sea, and 
ended, late in his career, with Fringilla, a translation of the 
Georgics, ' by a market-gardener,' having been interposed. 
The profits of casual contributions to the magazines were 
given as perquisites to his wife, who expected to be paid cash 
down. Her husband humorously complained of this as a 
' fatuous arrangement,' for, said he, ' if my editor ignores me, 
I have had to work and to pay for nothing.' 

And now as to his stories. Which of them was it, or 
were they, he deemed superior to Lorna Doone ? Was it The 
Maid of Sker, with its immortal North Devon parson } Was 
it Alice Lorraine, redolent of Kentish orchards and the South 
Downs ^ Was it Springhaven, salt with the brine of the 
Sussex coast, and quick with the forms of Nelson and ' Boney '.'' 
Was it Mary Annerley^ that fine Yorkshire tale, with its vision 
of furious Sir Philip fording the flood at the Place of the 

159 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Seven Corpses, and shouting, like a proud fool, ' Drown me 
if you can, my own water, drown me — that would be too much 
insolence ? ' Was it Christowell^ with the old dancing tree, now 
alas ! no more ? Was it Perlycross, with its Sergeant Jakes, and 
the smugglers and the spell of home, sweet home ? Was it 'The 
Remarkable History of Sir Thomas Upmore ? Kit and Kitty ? or 
Tales from a Telling House ? Was it Cripps the Carrier ? Or was 
it Dariel ? A bold man were he that should dare to prophesy, 
for authors, it is a truism, are poor judges of their own off- 
spring. Meanwhile, here is a note for you budding romancers — 
in all Blackmore's works there is a strong backing of the real. 
When a correspondent questioned the likelihood of Parson 
Rambone and Parson Chowne, the novelist replied that with 
them, as with the characters in Lorna Doone, everything was 
founded on solid fact. This may be a hard saying to Mr. 
Rawle, but he must either accept it or renounce all pretence of 
fealty to our West Country Homer. 

Regarding the many years spent at Teddington in the 
profitless but pleasurable pursuit of market-gardening, I do 
not regret them, since I see In that Middlesex Eden the prop 
and stay of the outdoor zest and sunny optimism that inform 
his writings. It is absurd to suppose literature can suffice for 
happiness. Still, when other things fail, books will afford 
solace, and I believe It to be a fact that the author of Lorna 
Doone fell Into his last, long sleep while a story of Edna 
Lyall's was being read to him. This euthanasia he experienced 
on January 20, 1900, twelve years after the death of his wife, 
by whose side he lies in Teddington Churchyard. 

The novelist was ever a lover of Blundell's School, to whose 
library he sent beautiful copies of his tales, and this tribute 
from one with whom he deigned to correspond, and who has 
gleaned an aftermath of lore on breezy Exmoor, is gladly 
offered to the shade of Richard Doddridge Blackmore. 



160 



SIR CHARLES EDWARD 
TREVELYAN 

ALONG and honourable connection has existed between 
Blundell's and that great branch of the civil service in 
which is vested our rule in India. A century ago 
there were Bundellians * bound to John Company ' ; it is no 
rare thing for the Balliol scholar of to-day to pass into the 
I.C.S. But whatever renown the future may have in store for 
those who now represent the school in the East, no name, 
assuredly, will stand out more worthily on the pages of history 
than that of Charles Edward Trevelyan. 

Born at Nettlecombe Rectory in 1807, the fourth son 
of the Rev. George Trevelyan, Archdeacon of Taunton, 
Trevelyan entered the school on April 17, 18 17, and was 
thus the contemporary of three other men whose lives are in 
this volume. He was a boy of rare energy and bodily activity. 
His grandfather, Sir John Trevelyan, gave him the right of 
sporting over his estates while he was a schoolboy, and he 
became a wonderful shot, and a rider whose skill and boldness 
was remembered in India a quarter of a century after he left 
the country. 

After being at Tiverton nearly three years he was removed 
to Charterhouse, and thence to Haileybury, at that date a 
college belonging to the East India Company, and used ex- 
clusively for training its officials. Entering the service as a 
writer in 1826, he soon became proficient in Eastern languages ; 
and, during his four years' stay at Delhi, conducted several 
important missions, besides acting as guardian to the young 
Rajah of Bhurtpore, an office that called for no small display 

L 161 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

of tact; further, he carried out a series of inquiries that led 
to the abolition of transit duty— an internal octroi on goods 
passing across the frontiers of the various provinces of India. 

There was at Delhi a very popular and powerful official, 
but extremely corrupt, who tried to initiate Trevelyan in his 
own evil practices, Trevelyan's answer was publicly to accuse 
his superior of taking bribes. In spite of the disparity of age 
and position, this cadet of barely twenty-one years old dared, 
in the face of Anglo-Indian opinion, fearlessly to expose mal- 
practices on the part of a man whose position seemed to render 
him safe from attack. But it was no random charge ; proved 
to the hilt, the official was dismissed, and Trevelyan gained 
the warmest acknowledgments of the Governor-General in 
Council for his fearlessness, and incidentally opened out the 
path to his own distinguished career. 

Here is Lord Macaulay's account of the affair : — 

' When only twenty-one years of age he publicly accused 

, then almost at the head of the service, of receiving 

bribes from the natives. A perfect storm was raised against 
the accuser. He was almost everywhere abused, and very 
generally cut. But with a firmness and ability scarcely ever 
seen in any man so young, he brought his proofs forward, 
and, after an inquiry of some weeks, fully made out his 

case, was dismissed in disgrace, and is now living 

obscurely in England, The Government here and the 
directors at home applauded Trevelyan in the highest terms ; 
and from that time he has been considered as a man likely to 
rise to the very top of the service.' 

In the same letter Macaulay describes further the man 
whose engagement to his sister he is making known to his 
family at home : — 

' He is quite at the head of that active young party among 
the younger servants of the Company who take the side of 
improvement. In particular, he is the soul of every scheme 
for diffusing education among the natives of this country. 
His reading has been very confined ; but, to the little that he 
162 



CHARLES EDWARD TREVELYAN 

has read, he has brought a mind as active and restless as Lord 
Brougham's, and much more judicious and honest. 

' As to this person, he always looks a gentleman, particularly 
on horseback. He is very active and athletic, and is renowned 
as a great master in the most exciting and perilous of field 
sports, the spearing of wild boars. His face has a most 
characteristic expression of ardour and impetuosity, which 
makes his countenance very interesting to me. Birth is a 
thing I care little about ; but his family is one of the oldest 
and best in England. 

' During the important years of his life, from twenty to 
twenty-five, or thereabouts, Trevelyan was in a remote pro- 
vince of India, where his whole time has been divided between 
public business and field sports, and where he seldom saw a 
European gentleman and never a European lady. He has no 
small talk. His mind is full of schemes of moral and political 
improvement, and his zeal boils over in his talk. His topics, 
even in courtship, are steam navigation, the education of the 
natives, the equalisation of the sugar duties, the substitution of 
the Roman for the Arabic alphabet in the Oriental language.' 

A few months later Trevelyan married Hannah Moore, 
sister of Lord Macaulay, who was through life one of his most 
attached friends. 

Another keen judge of men, Lord William Bentinck, under 
whose beneficent rule Suttee was abolished and the Thugs 
suppressed, had marked Trevelyan as a rising man. 

' That man is almost always on the right side in every 
question,' he said to Macaulay, ' and it is well that he is so, for 
he gives a most confounded deal of trouble when he happens 
to take the wrong one.' Time has shown the accuracy of 
this forecast of character and achievement ; indeed, it was not 
long before both were put to the test in the settlement of a 
great question. 

Trevelyan, ' the soul of every scheme for diffusing educa- 
tion among the natives,' was among those strongly in favour of 
teaching the higher branches of knowledge in English. Half 

163 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

of the Committee of Public Instruction were for maintaining 
and extending the old scheme of encouraging Oriental learn- 
ing, the other half against it. The choice lay between a course 
based on European or Asiatic models, between the progres- 
sive West and the unprogressive East. There could be no 
compromise on this vital question, and it was referred to 
Government. 

Ardour and impetuosity carried the day, and the victory 
was complete, when, a few months later, Macaulay, as a Mem- 
ber of the Supreme Council, threw the enormous weight of 
his great authority on the side of his brother-in-law and the 
English party. It is not too much to say that Trevelyan's 
stormy zeal in this matter influenced profoundly the whole 
intellectual progress of India ; and, though the results have 
fallen short of expectation formed at the time, they have been 
better than any on the opposite plan. 

Trevelyan had been moved to Calcutta in 1 831, as Deputy 
Secretary to Government in the political department ; and, 
after acting for two years (1836-38), as Secretary to the Sudder 
Board of Revenue, he returned to England, leaving his name 
behind in the new suburb of Delhi, ' Trevelyanpur.' 

A man so valuable could not remain long without a post ; 
and, for the next nineteen years, he filled the office of Assistant- 
Secretary to the Treasury. It was a rare advantage for the 
State that a man in the full vigour of one-and-thirty, and yet 
with a long training in high administration, should be placed 
at the head of the Civil Service of the country. 

During the terrible years of the Irish famine (1845-47) 
practically the whole work of relief organisation fell upon his 
shoulders. In the measures undertaken by Peel and Lord 
John Russell, Trevelyan was the ' keystone of the system,' 
the whole administrative arrangements centring in him from 
the first importation of Indian corn, through all the period 
of Relief Works, until, from help by direct distribution of 
food, matters passed into the hands of the Poor Law 
Commissioners. 
164 



CHARLES EDWARD TREVELYAN 

Picture the responsibility which was attached to the feed- 
ing of three-quarters of a million of men, representing, with 
their families, say three million persons ; and, at that time, 
the entire control of the commissariat fell upon Trevelyan, 
Richly, indeed, did he deserve the K.C.B. with which he was 
rewarded when those labours ended in 1848. A few years 
later, in a pamphlet called The Irish Crisis, he gave an 
account of the sufferings of the Irish peasantry, as interesting 
in its way as that in which he had related the efforts made by 
Government in the cause of Indian education ; and, it may be 
added, with the same modest account of his own labours. 

Always keen for the reform of abuses, a report in 1853, 
signed by Trevelyan and Sir Stafford Northcote, which boldly 
advocated throwing the Civil Service open to competition, 
caused a great outcry against interference with the rights, as 
they were then considered, of aristocratic families. Fearful 
were the predictions as to what would happen if public busi- 
ness was to be administered by sixteen thousand Trevelyans. 
But the man who, at thirty-one, had been placed, practically, 
at the head of the English Civil Service, and yet with a long 
administrative experience behind him, was not to be daunted, 
even though his Parliamentary chiefs were generally against 
him. When the time came for carrying into effect the Indian 
Act of 1853, by which civil servants were to be appointed by 
open competition, Lord Macaulay, the Chairman of the Com- 
mittee intrusted with the duty of drawing up the scheme of 
subjects and marks, read over the draft of the Report to his 
brother-in-law. 'Trevelyan,' he says, 'was much pleased'; 
and well he might be, for Macaulay, in his wisdom, had so 
planned it as to bring out all the strong points of the com- 
petitive system and avoid its perils. It was adopted in its 
integrity by the Indian Government, and Trevelyan was not 
without hopes that their example would be followed by the 
officers at Whitehall. Civil Service reform had Mr. Glad- 
stone for a champion in the Cabinet, but it was soon evident 
that few leading men had their hearts in the matter. ' It was 

165 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

one thing for them to deprive the East India directors of 
their patronage, and quite another to surrender their own,' as 
Sir George Trevelyan has pointed out. 

' I went to Brooks's, says Macaulay, ' on March 4,18 54, 
and found everybody open-mouthed, I am sorry to say, against 
Trevelyan's plans about the Civil Service, He has been too 
sanguine. The pear is not ripe. The time will come, but it 
is not come yet. I am afraid he will be much mortified.' 

He was right. Trevelyan was alarmed as well as mortified, 
for his career was seriously threatened. But he did not lose 
courage or composure. ' Accustomed,' says his son, ' accord- 
ing to the frequent fate of permanent officials, to be pushed to 
the front in the moments of jeopardy, and thrust into the rear 
in the moment of triumph, he had weathered more formidable 
storms than that which was now grov/ling and blustering 
between Piccadilly and Parliament Street.' 

In spite of the dead set made against him by powerful and 
unscrupulous men, in the face of the coolness of Whigs and the 
frank, hostility of Tories, Trevelyan's reforms were in the end 
adopted. He entirely reformed the Civil Service from top to 
bottom, and had a principal hand in pressing forward the 
system of appointments by open competition ; and though the 
public service to-day has its share, doubtless, of the imperfec- 
tions of this imperfect world, it is at any rate free from the 
jobbery and corruption by which the efficiency of many foreign 
administrations is impaired. There is, under the competitive 
system, little likelihood of the Civil Service being used as an 
instrument of party hatred or a means of party success. 

In 1858 Trevelyan, who had kept in touch v/ith Eastern 
affairs, was made Governor of Madras, a post of vital responsi- 
bility, conferring rule over many millions. It was a most 
popular appointment, and one calculated to reconcile to the 
Government the natives of India who were still shaken in 
allegiance by the events of the Indian Mutiny. Thus, the new 
Governor, who took out with him a largeness of view and an 
energy tempered by many years' experience of official life, was 
166 



CHARLES EDWARD TREVELYAN 

now in a position to continue the series of progressive measures 
with which he had all along identified himself. A fresh assess- 
ment of taxes was made, the police organised, and the sale of 
land to the natives, contrary to the traditions of the East India 
Company, steadily encouraged. 

All went well for about a year, but in 1 860 he was recalled, 
in consequence of his having published a protest against a 
certain measure of the Finance Minister. Trevelyan cared 
little for red tape and the proprieties of official life. ' If he 
thought things going wrong he held it his duty to say so,' 
and, accordingly, disapproving of Wilson's scheme, he laid his 
views before the world. This was, doubtless, an act of official 
imprudence, and one which the Government could not, at the 
time, well overlook ; but the then Secretary of State for India 
recorded the Government's ' high appreciation of the services 
which Sir Charles Trevelyan had rendered during his adminis- 
tration,' and their conviction that ' no servant of the Crown 
has more earnestly endeavoured to carry out the high principles 
of government which were promulgated to the princes and 
peoples of India in Her Majesty's proclamation.' 

So great was the discussion in England that the recall had 
to be defended in Parliament, and Lord Palmerston's words 
may well be inserted here. ' Undoubtedly it (the recall) 
conveys a strong censure on one act of Sir Charles Trevelyan's 
public conduct, yet he has merits too inherent in his character 
to be clouded and overshadowed by this single act, and I trust 
in his future career he may be useful to public service and do 
honour to himself.' 

That opportunity was not long in coming, for his 
reappointment to India in 1862 was, as has well been said, 
something more than a condonation ; it was a reversal of the 
sentence and a practical justification of the oftence. 

This time Trevelyan went as a Finance Minister, thus filling 
the very office his former antagonist, Mr. Wilson, had held. 
Three years later he resigned owing to ill-health, but not before 
his tenure of office had been marked by important administrative 

167 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

reforms, and by measures for the development of India by Public 
Works. 

On his return he threw himself heart and soul into the 
movement for the abolition of Army Purchase, a subject on 
which he had already given evidence in the Commission of 
1857. Others had denounced a system, the only defence for 
which lay in the absence of a substitute that would work, and 
now came a man with a practical scheme. His evidence, 
and the alternative scheme of army organisation which he 
expounded to the Commission, were deathblows to Purchase 
and the germ of a new life to our army. The long and em- 
bittered controversy that followed is almost forgotten to-day, 
though some defenders of the old system are still to be found. 
In July 1 87 1 the purchase system was abolished by Royal 
Warrant, Parliament voting the money to compensate the 
officers then holding saleable commissions, and the present 
system of ' seniority tempered by selection ' entered upon. 

Later on, Trevelyan's name was prominent in connection 
with a variety of social questions such as charities, pauperism, 
and the like. In all of these he retained his native energy. 
Indeed, throughout a long life — he was in harness for seventy 
years more or less, though the cares of office sat lightly on 
him — the ' fiery ardour ' which Macaulay had noted never died 
down, as happens in the case of many strong characters when 
middle age is passed. 

In politics he was, it is hardly necessary to say, a staunch 
Liberal of the old school, giving hearty support to the Liberal 
cause in Northumberland. For his departure from official life 
in 1875 ^^^ brought only a change in the direction of his 
activities — not rest, and he continued to the last to interest 
himself in the questions of the day. 

In his eightieth year ' the long and varied career, spotless 
throughout,' was closed by his death on June 19, 1886. 



168 




Frederick Temple, 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

Xepo-t TTocrt Kal I'dw rerpaywros TeTvy/ieioi. — Simonides. 

* There is a great wood out there not far from Tidcombe. It 's on the 
right hand side of the road as you go to the old Tidcombe rectory, and in the 
middle of the wood there was a tree in my days bigger than all the rest which 
topped them exceedingly.' — Archbishop Temple at Tiverton. 

TO one privileged to pay a brief tribute to the best 
known and, by all who knew him, best loved son 
of our Alma Mater, this picture, which for graphic 
simplicity might have been culled from the pages of Lorna 
Doone, calls up the venerated form of the great man who, like 
the giant oak on which his memory dwelt so fondly, topped 
exceedingly his fellows at school, at college, and in the great 
world beyond. 

Archbishop Temple's life is the heritage of the nation, a 
life of such self-sacrifice, such singular unity and steadfastness 
of purpose, that when the record of it shall have been 
laid with authority before the public, there will be found, 
it may safely be surmised, little new to learn and nothing 
to regret. We shall be spared the rude shock which too 
often startles us when secret springs of action are revealed and 
when those whom we have learnt to regard with veneration 
stand convicted sua manu of insincerity or self-seeking. 

The few pages that follow can only be a very lame and 
imperfect story, a simple offering of deep respect and affection 
to his memory from one who knew him well and was indebted 
to him for much kindness. 

Frederick Temple was the second son of Major Octavius 
Temple, sometime Lieutenant-Governor of Sierra Leone, and 
on his mother's side came of the old Cornish family of 

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BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Carveth of Bartilever. His grandfather, the Rev. William 
Temple, Vicar of St. Gluvias near Penryn, was a well-known 
man of letters, an intimate of Boswell, with whom he had 
been at Edinburgh University, a friend of the poet Gray, and 
an acquaintance of Dr. Johnson. An appreciation of the poet 
by Mr. Temple is quoted, with somewhat equivocal approval, 
in the ' Lives.' 

Frederick Temple, a Cornishman true-bred, was born on 
November 30, 1821, either in the Ionian Islands, or, as one 
legend has it, at sea. After residing at Helston in Cornwall 
his father settled in 1830 at Axon near Culmstock in Devon, 
on the Blackdown Hills near the Somerset border, where he 
had bought a small property of some fifty acres. The curious 
may evolve from these data a theory to account for the 
strange accents of that familiar voice, harsh yet vibrating at 
times to the very soul. 

Of the life at Axon and the doings of Major Temple, 
perhaps the original of Colonel Sir Thomas Waldron, the 
' fine old English gentleman ' of Blackmore's Perlycross (Culm- 
stock), a charming account may be found In Mr. F. Snell's 
Early Associations of Archbishop T'emple, a mine of information 
in which the writer, presuming on the indulgence of an 
old pupil, has pegged out claims with a somewhat free hand. 

The family was in comfortable circumstances during 
Major Temple's lifetime, but, owing to his unpopular views 
in favour of Poor Law reform and the repeal of the Corn 
Laws, the Major found himself the object of Increasing dislike, 
and in 1834 accepted the post of Lieutenant-Governor of 
Sierra Leone and soon fell a victim to the deadly climate. 
So it came about that from the age of thirteen until he 
had taken his degree Frederick Temple's life was one long 
probation of self-denial and of hardship nobly faced. 

* Although I had an excellent education, I had experience, 
nevertheless, of a great deal of privation during that time. 
I knew what it was, for instance, to be unable to afford a fire 
170 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

on cold days and nights, and I knew what it was sometimes 
to live on very poor fare ; I knew what it was — and I think it 
was the thing that pinched me most — to wear patched clothes 
and patched shoes. When I mention these things, I do so in 
order to make you understand how heartily my sympathies 
go with working-men. I believe there is probably at this 
moment not another man in England who can thresh better 
than I could. Threshing is gone out of fashion. It is all 
done by machinery now and there are very few people who 
learn to thresh. I learnt to plough, and I could plough as 
straight as any man in the parish.' 

All this however must not be misunderstood, any more 
than the reference to his father as a ' working-man, a soldier 
who had served his country in various parts of the world.' 
The quick and eager sympathy he always felt for the audience 
he was addressing, and the affection with which his memory 
lingered on old scenes, often so coloured his language as to 
lead to natural misconception. Of course there was no idea 
of his adopting anything but a liberal profession. The 
privation was a stern reality, but the ploughing must have 
been a mere vigorous pastime, whether at Axon or on the estate 
of his uncle, Admiral Temple, near Truro. 

All the anecdotes of his childhood are characteristic. As 
the young Sunday-school teacher, aged eleven, who drags 
truant pupils into church * by the ears,' as the trusty mes- 
senger who ' dumps ' home foot by foot for a weary mile 
a bag of iron nails too heavy to carry, as the ' real gentleman 
who would never pass the poorest person without recognition,' 
the boy was father of the man. 

As to the Archbishop's early education, he may have 
received some instruction at Helston. There is also a strong 
local tradition that he attended for a time a school kept by a 
Mr. Kelso at Culmstock, and he always mentioned with 
gratitude and affection the name of the Rev. John Blackmore, 
curate-in-charge of the parish and father of R. D. Blackmore, 

171 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

as that of one from whom he received early religious 
instruction. 

But it was above all, and in his memory at times solely, 
from his mother that he received the careful and methodical 
training that equipped him for the regular routine of school 
work. 'I came here taught only by my mother.' From her 
devoted hands he passed in January 1833 into the larger 
world of Blundell's School. 

The scene to which he was now introduced was one which 
exercised a strange fascination on him in after years. He 
was to move in surroundings of solid strength mellowed with 
the nameless charm of grey antiquity. The massive doors, 
the pillared screen, the great-armed lime-trees, silent then and 
bare, but in summer breathing perfume and murmurous with 
bees, the stately roof, whose timbers showed beyond doubt the 
shipwright's craft, relics of some forgotten wreck, a waif, 
tradition says, of the ill-fated Armada, cast on the razor 
edge of Blundell's estates at Prawle — all this could not fail to 
impress the new comer as it had impressed so many before 
him. 

' Here, too, the genius of the place has thrown 
A spell around from long tradition caught ; 
Historic names indent the hoary stone, 
And many a legend rich and fancy-fraught 
Breathes of Devonia's past, and wakes her sons to thought.' 

* As long as I live, wherever I go, if I meet a Blundell's 
schoolfellow — whether one with whom I was at school, or one 
who came in earlier or later times — I shall always consider 
that our hearts have been brought together by love for the 
same old school.' 

There is a mistaken impression that Blundell's was at 
that time simply a rough provincial school. As a fact it was 
pre-eminently one of the great schools of the country. All 
schools were rough in those early days, but to the ' Eton of 
the West,' as Hayward called it, there had gathered for 
generations the sons of all the most famous families in Devon. 
172 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

' I wish, Mr. Sanders,' said the Headmaster of Harrow, as 
quoted by Dr. Temple, ' I wish I had as fine a school as you 
have got.' At the school celebrations four-in-hands were, we 
are told, as plenty as blackberries. For the P. B, and May 
Day customs, and the various diversions of the pupils, the 
reader must be referred to the classic pages of Lorna Doone 
or to Mr. Snell's volume quoted above. 

The reception of the 'tall, big-jointed, shambling boy, 
with his long black hair falling over the collar of his jacket, 
rushing to and fro with trousers much too short, coarse blue 
worsted stockings, and big heavy shoes,* seems to have been 
what is called ' mixed.' 

He received kindness, as from the big boy who, having 
pulled his hair, and having been knocked off his seat out of 
hand for his pains, instead of striking back, said, ' You 're a 
plucky little fellow, and no mistake. But, depend upon it, 
you '11 catch it if you go on like that.' 

But as a poor day-boy, living in the outer darkness 
of ' Cop's Court,' he could not count upon much sympathy 
from the privileged young gentlemen * within the gate,' whose 
manners are set forth in Lorna Doone. For the rest, it must 
suffice to say that, from the bottom of the school to the 
monitors' form, in fair weather and foul. Temple fought his 
way, strenuous always, and, little by little, conquering by sheer 
force of character the respect of his schoolfellows. 

His method, as we have it from himself, was this : — ' In 
every Form I made it a rule to do two things : first, carefully 
to construe the lesson ; and, secondly, to parse every single 
word, and to look out the rules of grammar which governed 
it.' O si sic omnes ! 

It may be of interest to record the standard of work in 
the highest Form at that time. Thorough knowledge of Latin 
and Greek grammar was required, and great stress was laid 
on verse composition and recitation in Latin and English. 
The authors read in the year in which Temple gained the 
Balliol Scholarship were Thucydides, Plautus, Demosthenes, 

173 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

Sophocles, Virgil, Herodotus, Cicero, Homer, Horace, and 
Lucretius. The boys were also encouraged by rewards to 
commit passages of the classics to memory, and time was left 
for private reading. * I know I read nearly the whole of 
Euripides in my spare time.' ' We were taught to rely on 
our own exertions and well tested.' The Archbishop was 
never tired of dwelling on the educational value of independent 
work, and lamenting the storm and stress of modern public 
school life. 

An endeavour to introduce this ' spontaneous self-educa- 
tion ' at Rugby met with strong opposition from parents. 

It is worth noting that, in the study of mathematics, 
Blundell's school was, chiefly through the influence of Dr. 
Dicken, in advance of the age. In the Headmaster's mark 
book of this year are notes on the proficiency of the upper 
boys, not only in Euclid and algebra, but also in trigonometry 
and conic sections. 

The story of Frederick Temple's election to the Balliol 
Scholarship is well known, how, divisis hominum sent:;!itiis, Sir 
Thomas Acland, riding over from Killerton, appeared as deus 
ex machina, with such a casting vote as Athena gave Orestes. 
This was in the summer of 1838. Temple, however, returned 
to school until Easter in the following year. Of his matricula- 
tion he has given an amusing account, how he, of all people, 
was reproached by the Master with gross carelessness for 
presenting himself, by an accident, without a certificate. The 
history of his college life is that of his school life over again. 
From the common sort he was a victim of the slights that 
wait upon poverty and originality ; though, when it came 
to rough practical joking, his persecutors found, as history 
records, * that they had caught a Tartar ' ; and, as Thucydides 
would say, paid individually for their corporate misdeeds. 

But with the intellectual men of the College his footing 
was soon assured. ' It 's too large and peculiar, and there- 
fore it must be buffeted,' was the sentence of the farmyard 
upon the ' ugly duckling.' ' I think he will be very strong ; 

174 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

he makes his way already,' pleaded the anxious mother. But 
the chickens beat it, and the girl who had to feed the poultry 
kicked at it. Yet at the last the great swans swam round it, 
and stroked it with their beaks, and claimed it for their kingly 
brotherhood. 

The recognition and homage paid to Temple by the 
'choice and master spirits' of his age at Balliol must have 
surprised and delighted the country-bred scholar. The oft- 
quoted lines by Principal Shairp upon the Balliol scholars of 
that date show Temple as almost primus inter pares among 
such men as Arthur Stanley, Arthur Clough, Stafford North- 
cote, Matthew Arnold, Benjamin Jowett, and John Duke 
Coleridge : — 

' There too was one, broad-browed with open face 
And frame for toil compacted ; him with pride 
A school of Devon, from a rural place, 
Had sent to stand those chosen ones beside ; 
From childhood trained all hardness to endure, 
To love the things that noble are and pure, 
And think, and do, the truth, whate'er betide. 

* With strength for labour "as the strength often," 
To ceaseless toil he girt him night and day, 
A native King and Ruler among men, 
Ploughman or Premier, born to bear true sway, 
Small or great duty never known to shirk, 
He bounded joyously to sternest work ; 
Less cheerful others turn to sport or play.' 

Gaining two first classes in the schools, Temple was elected 
to a Blundell Fellowship, and became a College Lecturer in 
Mathematics and Logic, and in 1845 junior Dean. On his 
appointment as Principal of Kneller Hall Training-College he 
generously resigned his Fellowship in favour of ajunior school- 
fellow. His evidence given about this time before the Duke 
of Newcastle's Commission on National Elementary Educa- 
tion shows his ' sanctified common-sense,' his freedom from 
sectarian bitterness, and his zeal in a cause which had then 
fewer champions than now. He dwelt on the ' duty of the 

175 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

nation to see that at least the minimum of education is within 
the reach of all the subjects of the Crown.' ' I should leave 
the parents of the children to determine the religions which 
a national school should have.' ' I should give a right of 
withdrawal from religious instruction.' ' I do not think the 
diminution of religious zeal an evil ; I think much of it very 
unhealthy.' ' What I want is a quiet sense of duty ; at pre- 
sent we have a desire to extend the influence of a particular 
denomination.' ' I think that the elevating tendency of educa- 
tion itself is such as completely to counterbalance any mischief 
which might be done by providing it freely.' 

On the resignation of Dr. Goulburn in 1857 Mr. Temple 
was appointed to the Headmastership of Rugby, a post he 
occupied for twelve years, with great distinction to himself, 
and with great advantage to the school. ' The three chief 
influences on his life were, I think, his early home, Oxford, 
and Rugby.' It is easy at Athens to praise the Athenians, 
and the words just quoted were fitly addressed to a Rugby 
audience by a devoted pupil and life-long friend of Dr. 
Temple, the present Archdeacon of Exeter. But a Blundellian 
would hardly accept this estimate without demur. In the first 
place, it would be unfair to underrate the influence of Temple's 
old Headmaster, Mr. Sanders, familiarly known as ' Sas,' who 
' possessed the wonderful gift of reaching one's very soul.' 
' From this school I began to learn everything else I wanted 
for carrying me through life.' ' I look upon the education I 
received at school as a marvellous gift.' ' I shall never under- 
value all that I obtained there (at Balliol), but that will not 
lead me, nevertheless, to undervalue all that I got here (at 
Tiverton).' 

This is weighty testimony, not to be lightly set aside. And 
further, we have a saying in Devon that, 

* Kirton was a market town 
When Plymouth was a vuzzy down.' 

Applying the parable to Blundell's, and the now more famous 
176 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

midland school, it should be borne in mind that the * public 
school ' spirit was no new idea to the West Country schoolboy. 
Far as the sun might yoke his team from Devon, the duties 
of the strong to the weak, of the elder to the younger, the 
quaint but binding code of schoolboy honour, the freemasonry 
of school ties, were warmly recognised, in spite of lapses, by 
the banks of distant Lowman. 

' The school possessed a characteristic, which, I think, 
especially clings to English schools, and that was that the 
boys at bottom were high-minded, gentlemanly fellows.' 

The name of Dr. Arnold is finally and most justly 
associated with all that is best in public school reform. That 
Dr. Temple warmly acknowledged his indebtedness to his 
great predecessor for the spirit of Rugby as he found it, is 
certain. But it is equally certain that his own commanding 
personality impressed itself from the very first upon the 
material he found. A sculptor may be newly inspired by the 
kindly texture of some block of marble which lovingly takes 
breath under his touch. Yet the life is not in the stone, but 
in the master hand that calls it forth. Nelson was never tired 
of singing the praises of his ships' companies down to the last, 
least middy, and he never forgot the high achievements of 
the great captains who had gone before him. But Trafalgar 
was his own handiwork. * Arnold was grave and serious, 
distant and awe-inspiring, except perhaps to a few specially 
favoured pupils.' Tait and Goulburn who succeeded him 
were dignified heads of the old type. But Temple's first 
greeting to the Captain of the Eleven, ' Well, Sandford, how 's 
the cricket ? ' marked a new era of broader humanity, of cheer- 
fulness and buoyancy. For this new element in its life Rugby 
was largely indebted to the spirit, nursed indeed on the breezy 
downs of Axon, but fostered amid that goodly fellowship of 
lads ' high-minded ' but without self-consciousness, who worked 
and romped and bathed together, and of their hasty feuds made 
lifelong friendships in the golden days of ' Sas ' at Blundell's. 

Three years after Dr. Temple's appointment to the' head- 

M 177 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

ship of Rugby there broke out the controversy over Essays 
and ReviewSy a series of seven papers on religious questions, 
written by seven different authors * in entire independence of 
each other and without concert or comparison.* The book 
might not have attracted great attention but for a passionate 
denunciation of its teaching by Bishop Wilberforce which 
appeared in the ^arterly Review for January 1861. The 
story may be read in detail in the life of Archbishop Tait. 
Here it may suffice to say that Dr. Temple, who was re- 
sponsible for the first paper, ' On the Education of the World,' 
with characteristic courage and honesty refused under much 
pressure to withdraw one word of what he had written. The 
book was ' synodically ' condemned by the Bishops, but a 
suit preferred against the authors before the Judicial Com- 
mittee of the Privy Council, for teaching doctrines contrary 
to the law of the Church of England, ended in a judgment 
in their favour. It has been thought that in his private corre- 
spondence on the subject with his friend and former tutor Dr. 
Tait, then Bishop of London, Dr. Temple showed a querulous- 
ness foreign to his manly temper. But, as a fact, between 
worry and work he was out of health at the time, and he bitterly 
resented what he regarded as a betrayal by one he trusted. 

In due time the storm blew over, but, on the appointment 
of Dr. Temple to the see of Exeter as successor of Bishop 
Phillpotts in October 1869, ^^ broke out with fresh violence in 
the diocese and even beyond its borders. 

We read of earnest personal appeals that he should dis- 
claim responsibility for the incriminated book and article. 
There were repeated endeavours, apparently prompted by high 
motives but certainly of questionable honesty, to thwart his 
election and consecration and even to override the authority 
of the Crown. But all the sound and fury were flung away. 

♦ lUe velut pelagi rupes immota resistit, 
Ut pelagi rupes magno veniente fragore, 
Quae sese, niultis circum latrantibus undis, 
Mole tenet.' 
178 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

' While I am neither refusing to say or do what the law 
requires, nor consenting to say or do what the law does not 
require, I am on safe ground.' But there was no word of 
reproach for his persecutors. 'I have always from the begin- 
ning held that those who differed from me in opinion here 
. . . and who thought it their duty to express that difference 
and to do what within them lay, if it were possible, to oppose 
both my election and my consecration, were actuated by 
nothing but a sense of duty and a desire to fulfil God's will 
as far as their conscience showed it to them.' It's weary 
work pummelling a giant who won't even hit back. Under 
the calm rebuke, little by little the tumult was abashed. And 
then, and only then, the Bishop conceded to Christian charity 
what he had refused to clamour, and withdrew the essay. 
But even here he was chivalrously studious to guard against 
misconstruction. He thus stated his position in the Upper 
House of Convocation. 

' It might, I think, be supposed that this withdrawal of my 
own essay implied in some degree the condemnation of the 
other writers in the volume, or the retractation of what I 
myself had said. Now I certainly do not mean it to do either 
of these two things . . . nor do I mean to imply in any 
way whatever that I consider that I did wrong in allowing 
my essay to remain with the others, from the time it was 
originally published until now.' 

From this time the Bishop's relations with his diocese and 
even with the recalcitrant clergy — to bear a grudge was im- 
possible for him — were marked by ever-growing sympathy and 
warmth, and his forbearance won the devotion which would 
naturally have been assured to such a man, a West Country- 
man by birth and education. How his personal magnetism 
drew together as a great body of workers men of all shades 
of thought, whose efforts till then had been dissipated, if not 
conflicting, will not soon be forgotten. 

It was during this period that he saw so much of his old 
school and did so much for its welfare. Although on senti- 

179 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

mental grounds strongly opposed to the removal of the school 
to another site, he followed its fortunes to the last with 
affectionate interest, and loyally supported, as a Governor, an 
inevitable change. His visits at this time were always a delight 
to us, and a constant encouragement to those who were fighting 
a hard battle. The translation of the Bishop to London in 
1885 was for all this diocese a matter of pride coupled with 
a deep sense of personal loss. We should not look upon his 
like again. — It may be convenient to record at this point the 
impression made upon the writer by that great personality. 

To Archbishop Temple were denied the ' saintliness * 
which so impresses popular imagination, the gifts of brilliant 
genius which compel homage, if but for a while, the versatility 
and address that smooth the path to fortune. Not for him 
was the palm of dazzling eloquence or artistic sensibility, 

* Excudent alii spirantia mollius xra..' ^ 

But in deep human tenderness he was unsurpassed. Never 
was truer friend. The portrait of Dr. Temple and his mother 
taken at Rugby shows a devoted son beside a parent in whose 
features can be traced the secret of his life and character. 
His was a home ' knit together with bonds of affection so 
sacred as to demand silence.' And in him were so blended 
the wholesome, vigorous gifts of body, soul, and intellect, that 
here, one felt, was pre-eminently a man. To talk with him 
was to breathe a larger air. 

' I think it is Warburton,' writes Colton, ' who draws a very 
just distinction between a man of true greatness and a medio- 
crist. " If," says he, " you want to commend yourself to the 
former, take care that he quits your society with a good 
opinion of you ; if your object is to please the latter, take care 
that he leaves you with a good opinion of himself." ' 

This aphorism is true, but not the whole truth. There is 

1 Dr. Temple sang with more good-will than grace. * Stow it, mate ! You 're 
spoiling the music ! ' was the historic or mythical remonstrance of a working-man by 
whom the Bishop was sitting incognito in the free seats of a London church. 

180 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

a greatness, and that the very highest, in the presence of which 
all posing and self-seeking, however natural and almost ex- 
cusable, stands unmasked and abashed. The endeavour to 
touch some hidden chord of vanity in the Archbishop, beneath 
his triple armour of honesty, stern logic, and shrewd mother- 
wit, would of course have been labour lost. But doomed to 
no less disappointment was the man who should hope to 
commend himself to the sympathy of so keen-eyed a critic 
by any commonplace method of modest address. It was the 
fortune of the writer to meet with a salutary rebuff of the 
kind at his first interview with Dr. Temple. Appointed very 
young to the position he now holds, he ventured to say to the 
Bishop of Exeter after a Governors meeting — ' I hope I may 
often have the benefit of your Lordship's advice.' This was 
perhaps a natural remark to address to a distinguished Head- 
master, but the only answer vouchsafed was a somewhat gruff 
* Better trust your own judgment.' It is consoling to read 
that when Dr. , who had just been selected for high pre- 
ferment, wrote to his old friend, ' imploring his advice and 
prayers,' he ' received in reply a characteristic hint that it was 
well to cultivate a little more self-dependence.' 

But there are many anecdotes relating to Dr. Temple's 
supposed harshness which may perhaps be found on analysis 
to owe their origin to very simple causes much misunderstood. 
The Archbishop was, before all things, a man of business, 
impatient of waste of time or words. ' Where 's your waste- 
paper basket ^ ' was his only comment when the writer put 
into his hand a letter marked ' most urgent,' with a sugges- 
tion that his Lordship might perhaps desire to answer it at 
once. He could not suffer fools gladly, and he had an unerring 
scent for humbug, pretence, claptrap, or special pleading. 
Against the assaults of the ubiquitous bore who besets the 
busy man of affairs, some have devised the oily integument of 
suavity and politeness, others the thick hide of indifference ; 
others again, like the Archbishop, the offensive defensive 
armour of the hedgehog or mimosa, which, while parrying 

i8i 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

one attack, discourages a second. The writer once heard a 
clergyman, who had just come from a garden party at Fulham, 
complaining bitterly of his Bishop's curtness. He had, by 
his own account, attempted to make himself pleasant by the 
remark, ' I believe your Lordship has kindly undertaken to 
preach in my church next Sunday three weeks.' ' Oh ! I can't 
be expected to remember all my engagements,' was the uncivil 
but perhaps not unnatural cry wrung from a busy host by 
irrelevant chatter. 

There is a familiar story of a suitor who was anxious to 
undertake the charge of two adjoining parishes, on the ground 
that they were only two miles apart ' as the crow flies.' The 
prompt answer, ' You 're not a crow, and you can't fly, and 
you shan't have it,' has been quoted as an instance of unneces- 
sary harshness. But, after all, it was a logical, if stern, rebuke 
to an audacious piece of special pleading. ' Does the man 
take me for a fool ? ' the Bishop may well have thought, ' or 
does he really suppose that he can get about his work except 
by crooked lanes upon his own two legs ? ' 

And in this, as in many other cases, sufficient allowance 
is hardly made for Dr. Temple's bubbling drollery, which, 
masked as it was by the grimness of his features, was lost upon 
the sufferer of the moment. Had there, however, been an 
impartial witness of the scene in question, he might have noticed 
a twinkle in the Bishop's eye, and a twitch about the corners of 
his mouth, as he conjured up the picture of his civil-suited 
and possibly rotund petitioner flitting over hill and dale, and 
hopping from threshold to threshold upon his daily round. 

On another occasion the writer remembers the blank con- 
sternation of an unfortunate vicar who had pronounced a too 
ambitious panegyric upon the Bishop, and made shipwreck 

amid the perilous shoals of metaphor. ' Mr. has been 

good enough to compare me to a calf,' were the opening words 
of a reply that had no humour for the orator, who, for the rest 
of the day, ' never smiled again.' 

We have all read of the justice whose handwriting was 
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FREDERICK TEMPLE 

sometimes legible by his clerk and himself, sometimes by the 
former only, sometimes by neither. It is charitable to suppose 
that in some of Dr. Temple's less admired utterances there 
lurked a form of humour, of which even the speaker was only 
dimly conscious. And further, great injustice is done to the 
memory of one who was essentially a gentleman, by writing of 
him as of one to whom rudeness was congenial. This is the 
merest caricature, fostered by the exigencies of anecdote, as 
mythical as Mr. Gladstone's collars. 

As a fact, the writer has often remarked with gratitude — 
and many others must have had the same experience — the 
kindly nodding consideration, indeed, the word deference 
would hardly be too strong, with which the Archbishop would 
listen to any argument seriously and simply advanced, and his 
reluctance to overbear by the weight of mere authority. 

But whatever roughness there may once have been in that 
generous nature softened with each passing year. At the 
Anglican Conference in 1897 the Archbishop ' presided with 
a kindliness and a humour which its members had not expected 
to find in him,' and he fairly won the hearts of his American 
brothers. With some aptness the Speaker^ in a touching 
obituary notice, applied to him Pater's judgment on Michael 
Angelo : ' Some of those whom the gods love die young. 
This man, because the gods loved him, lingered on to be of 
immense, patriarchal age, till the sweetness it had taken so 
long to secrete in him was found at last.' 

Only, here was the honey ready distilled at all times, for 
all who were not afraid to look for it. 

In estimating the character of one who has risen to eminence 
in one field of action, it is tempting to indulge in speculation 
as to the rank he might have attained under other conditions. 
Scipio, we are told, might have adorned any profession. We 
can picture Mr. Gladstone as an ecclesiastic. Lord Salisbury 
as an eminent man of science or letters. 

Would the Archbishop have made a great advocate } Pro- 
bably not. With all his gifts of lucid thought and cogent 

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BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

argument he lacked the calculated courtesy to bear with unfair 
presentment or legal artifice. He could not have stooped to 
make the worse cause appear the better. We have only to 
try to picture him begging for the verdict of a jury, or, for 
that matter, soliciting the suffrages of a constituency, to realise 
how strange he was to all persuasive arts, but those of rugged 
truth and honest conviction. Lord John Russell said that he 
might have reached the woolsack. As a judge, he would 
certainly have been a terror to the shifty and a broad shield 
to innocence. On moral questions of right and wrong his 
decisions would have been convincing, but perhaps his mind 
was hardly analytical enough to unravel a tangled web of subtle 
technicalities. 

A great statesman he might have been, but never a great 
party man or politician. Not long after the Archbishop's 
lamented death a correspondent wrote, with more plausibility 
than wisdom, to one of the newspapers, to express surprise that 
no one had thought of applying to him the well-known lines 
from In Memoriam : — 



' Dost thou look back on what hath been, 
As some divinely gifted man, 
Whose life in low estate began 
And on a simple village green ; 

< Who breaks his birth's invidious bar, 
And grasps the skirts of happy chance, 
And breasts the blows of circumstance, 
And grapples with his evil star ; 

♦ Who makes by force his merit known, 
And lives to clutch the golden keys, 
To mould a mighty State's decrees, 
And shape the whisper of the throne ? ' 

In truth, the quotation is curiously infelicitous. The Arch- 
bishop was of gentle birth and breeding and the fortunate 
recipient of an excellent education. But, apart from that, the 
184 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

one thing he never did was to grasp the skirts of happy 
chance. No man ever laboured less to climb. Nor was he 
divinely gifted, except, indeed, with that precious endowment 
of strenuous endeavour to invest for the good of his fellow- 
men the talents God had given him. He refused, as we have 
seen, to disown or modify what he had written, at the risk of 
blighting his whole career. Nor, lastly, was any man less 
fitted to ' shape the whisper of the throne.' He who would 
ascribe to Dr. Temple the arts of courtiership would find a 
prototype for Richelieu or Wolsey in John the Baptist or the 
prophet Elijah. 

And, indeed, it was a prophet's life that the Archbishop 
lived — a life of far-sounding rebuke to our luxury, extrava- 
gance, vulgar display, insincerity, intemperance, intolerance. 
But perhaps the most wholesome lesson to be learnt from his 
example is the truth that a prophet and enthusiast may keep his 
sober sense. We live in an age when moderation is held by 
many to be weak-kneed, and headlong partisanship the touch- 
stone of earnestness. Here was a man who felt strongly, 
thought strongly, spoke strongly, and at need acted strongly ; 
but always as a statesman, not as a visionary, enamoured of 
the unattainable. 

' Liberals proclaimed he was exceeding narrow, 
Bigots exceeding broad.' 

High, Low, and Broad Church had each its quarrel with him. 
His strength has been censured as weakness, yet it may well 
be that in his time were sown seeds of forbearance which are 
even now giving promise of fruit. Again, the vexed question 
of elementary education seems to be approaching settlement 
upon the lines of compromise he drew two generations ago, 
while his pleading in the cause of Temperance is a standing 
witness that passionate zeal need not be divorced from sound 
judgment and large Christian charity. A great soldier beyond 
all doubt he might have been. All the instinct was there. 

185 



BLUNDELLS WORTHIES 

As a small boy engaged in the field of honour, he had a way 
of springing up, and ' lending his little soul at every stroke,' 
which sadly disconcerted more stalwart but less eager 
opposites. Listen to him fighting his old battles over 
again, or slaying the slain of the football field ! Or hear 
his advice to a young schoolfellow, * Avoid quarrelling ; but 
if any boy attempts to bully you and hits you about, stick up 
to him and hit him again ! ' 

It was the fortune of the writer to hear Dr. Temple preach 
in St. Paul's Cathedral within a day or two of the sending of 
the German Emperor's unlucky telegram, when the Special 
Service Squadron had been commissioned, and war seemed in 
the air. No word was spoken in that sermon which might 
inflame passion, and yet there was a ring in the preacher's 
voice as if the patriot was well-nigh too strong for the 
messenger of peace, and as if those trumpet tones might 
under other conditions have cheered an army to battle and 
to victory. 

And he was a man whom no reverse would have 
daunted. A joint-committee of members of both Houses of 
Convocation was meeting at Lambeth Palace around the long 
table in the Guardroom. The Bishops were congregated at 
the upper end, where most of the discussion was carried on. 
A deprecating tone apparently marked the advice of some 
members of the episcopal group. Strong and clear and cheery 
rang the voice of the Archbishop through and above it all. 
' I go upon the principle that I shall live for ever,' and, 
changing his note, with a quaint, merry reverence which 
meant all that ' D.V.' ever means, he added, ' I know I shan't.* 

A word may be said here of Dr. Temple as a preacher. 
' Temple,' wrote Benson from Rugby, ' is a grand man to 
look at and a grander to hear. I never so heard a man speak 
evidently out of his own very heart.' ' Duty, earnestness, inten- 
sity,' said Archdeacon Sandford to the Rugby boys, ' were the 
theme of his sermons ; and to look at the man and watch him 
in his daily life was unconsciously to hear him preach.' And 
i86 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

again, ' Most of us have heard great preachers since, but nothing 
quite takes the place of Temple's preaching on Good Friday. 
The memory lingers still, as of something that was unique. 
I turned to that first Good Friday sermon on the morning of 
which I heard of his death ; I think that many of us will 
turn to it when our own time to die has come : " O Lord 
Jesus Christ, take us to Thyself, draw us with cords to the 
foot of Thy cross ; for we have not strength to come, and we 
know not the way. Thou art mighty to save, and none can 
separate us from Thy love. Bring us home to Thyself, for 
we are gone astray. We have wandered ; do Thou seek us. 
Under the shadow of Thy cross let us live all the rest of our 
lives, and there we shall be safe." ' 

One striking peculiarity of the Archbishop as a preacher, 
unless the writer is mistaken, was the very sparing use he made 
of quotations, except from the Bible. The King's message 
must be delivered straight from heart to heart, and he de- 
liberately put aside all phrases, however splendid, all thoughts, 
however sublime, which might introduce another personality 
between himself and those whom he was commissioned to 
admonish. What his sermons lost in variety and elegance 
they gained in authority. But one who only speaks right on, 
unheedful, to all seeming, of the stores of wisdom garnered 
by the mighty dead, and careless even of appropriate gesture, 
cannot quite rank as an orator. 

From the year 1885 the Bishop's close connection with the 
school was interrupted. His titanic labours during the next 
twelve years, notably labours in the cause of temperance and 
education, above and beyond the exacting routine of his office, 
left him little time even to take the place he might have claimed 
in the counsels of the House of Lords, still less for the dis- 
charge of the social duties which had been associated with 
London House — he did not even reside there — and very few 
opportunities of leaving the diocese. And yet he never forgot 
the school. Even in the thick of the manifold worries and 
preoccupations of the Queen's Jubilee he found time to pen 

187 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

the following letters, breathing all his old affection for the 
scenes of his boyhood : — 

FuLHAM Palace, S.W., 
1 6/// June 1887. 

My dear Headmaster, — I write in every capacity that can be 
assigned to me to get a favour from you. 

I want a holiday for the boys on the 21st. I entreat you, as an 
Old Blundellian, as a Blundell Scholar of Balliol, as a Blundell Fellow 
of Balliol, as a Governor of the School j surely the combined petition 
of so many, all of them Blundellians, ought to prevail. Do. — Your 
humblest servant, F. Londin. 

zznd June 1887. 

My dear Headmaster, — I am very grateful to you for the holi- 
day. I hope the chaos will get into order again before long. The 
enthusiasm in London has been very great. I like to think that my 
old school has felt the wave. — Yours ever, F. Londin. 

The last visit of the Archbishop to his old school was a 
scene that no one privileged to witness it can ever forget. It 
was like some symphony by a master hand. Within a few 
short hours he touched every chord of emotion, from wistful 
memory and deep religious feeling to sheer rollicking mirth. 
He had come to dedicate a window placed in the school chapel 
in memory of Old Blundellians who had fallen in the South 
African war. His sermon was at once the most inspiring and 
the most pathetic to which a school could listen, the aged 
Christian warrior of fourscore years, with overflowing tender- 
ness, raising the voice of warning and encouragement to the 
last-joined recruit : — 

' I pray you, my schoolfellows, to lift yourselves high with 
the hope that you may in course of time be an honour to 
the school ; and to bear in mind that, even though you earn 
no distinctions, the quiet, resolute, religious life not much 
talked of and not conspicuous to the world . . . yet makes 
you members of the Christian body in the estimate of the 
Judge of all the earth.' 
188 







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FREDERICK TEMPLE 

Character, always character, rather than academic or other 
distinction, was the ideal he would hold up to schoolboys ; and 
he seemed in all seriousness to feel less admiration for those 
whom the world has delighted to honour than for some quiet 
country parson who should have thrown his whole heart into 
his humble work. 

' The sight of the man,' said one present on this occa- 
sion, ' was all one really needed ; his face and presence were a 
sermon in themselves. I shall never forget the touching words 
at the end of his sermon ; and to see the tears rolling down 
his rugged cheeks, as he talked of the days long past, would 
have moved a heart of stone.' 

Those who have been the manliest of boys are often the 
most boyish of men. Cheered by the sense of duty done, and 
untroubled by bad conscience or false shame, they keep their 
hearts young, and don't mind showing it. Scipio and mitis 
sapientia Lali indulged in fun, possibly leap-frog, while their 
frugal pot was boiling, ' renewing their boyhood past belief,' 
as Cicero tells us ; and we read of Dr. Temple, when 
Headmaster of Rugby, swarming up a tree at Wellington 
College and grinning defiance at Benson, or trying to rival 
an old boyish feat by crossing the 24 feet of our old upper 
school in three giant strides. Moreover, it is written that he 
played cricket with the American bishops in the home of Laud. 
And so it was upon this eventful day. ' Men were afraid of 
him, but not boys — their observation was too quick.' It was 
a treat to see him wandering about the old green beset by a 
swarm of youngsters, showing them the spot where he had 
received a bad blow in the eye from a cricket ball, and the 
historic ironing-box, in which ' we defied the jurisdiction of 
the Mayor of those days ' ; and, finally, diving through the 
shrubs and showing his name deep graven on the old school 
wall. 

But it was not until the solemn formality of the presenta- 
tion of the freedom of the borough that his boyish humour 
fairly brimmed over. He was sincerely sensible of the honour 

189 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

paid him, and heartily proud of such a token of respect from 
the old town he loved so well. Yet who that saw it can forget 
the serio-comic expression he wore, the smiles that wreathed 
the puckered corners of his lips as he listened to the admoni- 
tion of the town-clerk, and formally undertook ' to preserve 
the common peace and tranquillity of the borough ' ; and if he 
knew of any unlawful conventicles or assemblies against the 
State thereof, forthwith to disclose the same to the Mayor ? 

And, then, when at last the enthusiasm of a crowded 
gathering suffered him to return thanks for the honour paid 
him, he was frankly a boy again, and ended a delightful series 
of old reminiscences of school scrapes and school friendships by 
a studied panegyric on Impudence, pronounced for the occasion 
perilously like Impidence. 

And so we escorted him with all honour to the station, 
where his last words were the greeting, ' Well, Tom, how are 
you? and how's Dick?' to a school friend of seventy years 
before. Wistfully we followed the dwindUng train with our 
eyes till it swept from view, then slowly went our ways, proud 
that we could claim brotherhood with such a man, inspired by 
his lofty counsel, cheered by his contagious merriment, yet 
sorrowing with a sad foreboding that here, at least, we should 
see his face no more. 

At the age of seventy-five the Bishop was called to fill a 
position of perhaps more freedom, but of not less responsi- 
bility. On the sudden death of Dr. Benson, in 1896, he 
undertook the anxious duties of the Primacy, a preferment to 
which his claims were considered to outweigh even those of 
such men as Dr. Davidson and Dr. Creighton. ' I think I 
am good for six years ' was his courageous prophecy. And, 
curiously enough, his translation dates from 22nd December 
1896, while he died in harness, fairly worn out, but staunch 
to the last, on the morning of 23rd December 1902. 

It has been remarked that ' it was a strange irony which 
decreed that in Dr. Temple's necessarily brief Primacy there 
should come both a Diamond Jubilee and a Coronation,' in 
190 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

allusion to the rough simplicity of the Archbishop's character, 
and his indifference to the pomp of state ceremonial. There 
is indeed a quizzical look in the photograph, now lying before 
the writer, of Dr. Temple in the robes he wore at the Corona- 
tion, a look as of one conscious of the solemnity of the 
occasion, yet protesting against the caprice of fortune which 
had tricked him out, him of all men, in silken robes of price 
and cunning needlework. And yet, on looking back, who 
would have had the parts played by a less noble actor ? 

* His voice was harsh. But how it spaces sunward, 

As when attired in gold 
He stood on St. Paul's steps, and up and onward 
His mighty utterance rolled, 

* By distance charmed — as when we wander often 

Through hills with ocean nigh, 
His giant hammer-stroke of voice doth soften 
To something like a sigh — 

* A sigh so deep that when we pause and ponder, 

We find not joy but peace, 
And almost weep, as we turn round to wander, 
That things so sweet can cease. 

* So did the far heard benediction mystic 

Hang on the ear, to be 
The latest, longest, loveliest, most majestic 
Voice of the Jubilee.' ^ 

And then who else would have hazarded at so supreme a 
moment the strange unrehearsed effect of a call for three 
cheers for her Majesty ? It is not perhaps generally known 
that this was a happy inspiration, meant to fill what promised 
to be an awkward gap in the ceremonial. But, had it been 
otherwise, the tumultuous acclaim that greeted the call would 
have condoned a somewhat daring innovation. And then the 

1 These beautiful verses by the Archbishop of Armagh are printed in the Times 
of Christmas Eve 1902. The same number contains a most interesting obituary 
notice, to which the writer is indebted for much valuable information. 

191 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

last great scene of the Coronation, the long two hours* 
pageant, to him a martyrdom. And through it all, in spite of 
failing sight and sinking limb, his stout heart bore him to the 
end, a noble and pathetic figure, while all who gazed were 
sickening with anxiety, ^is talia fando temperet a lacrimis ? 

' We saw him in the abbey — now near fainting 
In pallor half sublime, 
Until we thought God kept a great ensainting 
For Coronation time. 

' The new page scarcely the dim eye could master, 
With the old the voice uprose, 
As the worn war-steed's feet may go the faster 
Upon a field he knows. 

' And first the Monarch by the Priest was gifted. 
Anointed and brow-bound ; 
And then the Priest was tenderly uplifted 
By him whom he had crowned.' 

qualis fades et quali digna tahella. ' He had known 
poverty and almost rags, in his education he had had to count 
the cost of candles and fires, yet here he was the chief figure, 
except the Sovereign, in the most brilliant assembly of our 
times, the man whom the nation by its chosen representatives 
had elected to set the Crown upon the head of its King.' 

The rest is too soon told. The strain of unremitting toil, 
the inexorable march of time, and all the cares attending the 
King's illness and Coronation had worn down that frame of 
iron. But to the last he never flinched. He preached in 
Canterbury Cathedral on his eighty-first birthday. On the 4th 
of December he made a supreme effort to be present in the 
House of Lords at the second reading of the Education Bill. 
He even spoke with all his wonted vigour, but fell back 
exhausted at the close of his speech, leaving unspoken, as a 
touching message sent by him the following day explained, an 
expression of kindly sympathy for his Nonconformist fellow- 
192 



FREDERICK TEMPLE 

Christians. The end was very near. On December 23 the 
great Archbishop breathed his last at Lambeth Palace in the 
midst of his devoted family. A few days later the tired body 
was laid in its last resting-place, close beneath his old study 
windows under the grey towers of Canterbury Cathedral. 
Those who stood at the graveside felt, as perhaps they had 
never felt till then, the full comfort of the assurance wafted to 
the ear on exquisite strains of music — 

' I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, " Write, 
From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, 
even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours." ' 

The nation sorrowed for him, and even those who had 
been slow to realise his greatness while he lived, felt that with 
his loss we had fallen on times of lesser men, that ' an ele- 
mental force had gone from us.' To Blundell's School the 
loss was irreparable. At the next gathering of Old Boys, one 
of those at which the Archbishop's face had been so familiar, 
some attempt was made to express the feeling of his old 
schoolfellows in these words : — 

' We are meeting here to-night under the shadow of a 
heavy loss. The great Archbishop, whose name lent such 
distinction to his old school, has passed away in the fulness of 
days and of honours. To one who reads the countless and 
various tributes to the inspiring story of his long career, there 
stands forth a clear-cut, commanding personality, unique in 
our time. He rose to eminence from obscurity, not, as many 
have risen, by using each step in his preferment as a foothold 
from which to grasp at higher place, but by concentrating his 
many gifts and wonderful energy upon the task he had in 
hand, till he was summoned to a higher sphere of duty by no 
apparent seeking of his own, but as the man beyond question 
best fitted to adorn it. It may be fanciful, but the image 
rising before me, as I call to mind his honoured name, is that 
of a stately weather-beaten shrine, built four-square of rugged 
unhewn granite, engraven to the outward view with the legend 
of the classic virtues — justice, endurance, wisdom, truth, self- 

N 193 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

mastery ; aglow within with the fire of God's Holy Spirit — 
the Spirit of Faith, of Tenderness, large Tolerance, and 
Brotherly Kindness. Truly, gentlemen, a prince has fallen this 
day. The nation mourns for the wise ruler, the judge who 
held the scales so even, the champion of Education, the 
trumpet-voiced prophet of Temperance, and — most striking of 
all in one of his impetuous spirit — the gentle peacemaker, 
whose last most touching message of conciliation shamed into 
silence, if only for a moment, the jarring tongues of sectarian 
strife. To us of Blundell's the loss is nearer and more per- 
sonal. We honoured him not less than others, and we loved 
him more because we knew him better. And we have lost 
him. This should have been a time of rejoicing ; this our 
first meeting after the stately pageant of last summer, in 
which he was so noble and pathetic a figure. We feel as 
England felt after Nelson's death in the hour of victory. 
Gladly could we spare our triumph, could we but see him here 
to-night, could we hear once more his hearty laugh and watch 
his smile, surely the most bewitching that ever lit up so stern 
a face, a smile in which were distilled the bubbling mirth of 
boyhood and the mellowed kindliness of age. We have lost 
all this. But his spirit is still with us, as surely as it came to 
me the other morning, in a dream which was more than a 
dream, with outstretched hand calling down a blessing on the 
gathered school. His memory is a priceless inheritance to 
Blundell's, to sanctify and ennoble our aims ; and his figure 
will stand out to the nation like a great steady beacon on a 
hill, to cheer and enlighten the path of duty.' 



194 



ROBERT DUCKWORTH 

AT the time when, by common consent, the low-water 
mark in the fortunes of Blundell's had been reached, 
a Mathematical Master was appointed, whose energy 
and strength of character were destined profoundly to modify 
the future history of the school. In the year 1852, after 
a long and expensive law-suit, a decree of the Vice-Chan- 
cellor, confirmed by the High Court of Chancery, forbade 
the Master or Usher to take boarders. The first result was 
the resignation of the Headmaster, Dr. Sanders ; the second 
was to reduce the numbers of the school by one-half ; the 
third to attract a class of boys to whom the kind of education 
which the school had to offer was altogether useless. The 
outlook was indeed dark, and the future of Blundell's hanging 
in the balance when the subject of this memoir, in the year 
1853, accepted a post at a salary of ^^50 a year. 

Robert Duckworth, a Yorkshireman, and born in the year 
1828, was educated at Giggleswick School. Many years later 
his Headmaster, the celebrated Dr. Butterton, testified to his 
moral worth, the soundness of his classical, and the accuracy 
and extent of his mathematical, knowledge. He won a 
scholarship at St. John's College, Cambridge, and graduated, 
twenty-sixth wrangler, in the year 1852. In the following 
year a college friend in a letter was remarking, * Duckworth 
is down in Devonshire, working thirteen hours a day for ^^50 
a year.' He was ; and in addition, was acting as curate to his 
life-long friend, the Rev. R. B. Carew of Bickleigh. In 1858 
he married the daughter of Brigadier-General Fagan, C.B., 
and had already started the boarding-house in Twyford Place, 
transferred presently to Bampton Street, where the boarders 

195 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

soon rose to fifteen out of sixty-five, the total number of the 
school. Mr. Duckworth was not regularly on the Foundation, 
and was thus able to evade the rule against taking boarders 
which the law-courts had recently laid down. Seven years 
later, out of one hundred boys, fifty were in Mr. Duckworth's 
house, and the school was saved from degenerating into a 
small country grammar school. The state of things is well 
described in a letter from an Old Blundellian : — 

'Blundell's, as I knew it (1864-71), was in a transition 
state, the old style of things — simple devotion to classics, 
mathematics being merely tolerated — was beginning to pass 
away. The Headmaster, as far as we boys could judge, 
was eminently conservative, and indisposed to foster anything 
but old-fashioned classical work. One must remember that 
he thought conscientiously that he was contending for a 
system which had done good in its time, and which, he felt, 
was seriously imperilled. As a teacher of mathematics Mr. 
Duckworth was unsurpassed. Sparing no pains himself, he 
expected his pupils to work hard, and for the boy who tried 
he had always plenty of encouragement. Of his personal 
character one recollects his utter hatred of anything that was 
not perfectly straightforward and honest. It may have been 
that he was sometimes over-anxious, and suspected wrong- 
doing where none existed. Many, perhaps, would speak of 
him as rough and stern, but when we got to know him well 
there was a wonderfully kind and tender side to his character. 
It was no wonder that the boys thoroughly believed in him, 
even though they dreaded his occasionally austere manner. 

' Of his work as a clergyman in charge of boys, it may be said 
that he fully realised the weightiness of his charge, and did his 
best to make us good Christians and good Churchmen. The 
lack of a school chapel he endeavoured to make up for by 
reading on Sunday evening Dr. Vaughan's sermons to the 
Harrow boys ; his favourite discourse was one on the evil of 
excuses. He was very fond of fun, too, though the necessities 
of school discipline compelled him to repress the display of his 
196 



ROBERT DUCKWORTH 

liking. But he thoroughly enjoyed a good nigger song. I 
can see him now shaking with laughter as he listened to a then 
popular song — " The Galloping Snob of Rotten Row " — sung 
by a boy sitting astride of a big drum for a steed which he 
whacked and thumped as he sang. I think the cleverest saying 
of his that I remember was the speech in which he returned 
thanks for the drinking of his health at one of the early revivals 
of Old Boys' Day, somewhere in the seventies. There was a 
good deal of friction just then, and much wondering as to 
what Mr. Duckworth would say. He began by remarking 
that he would come presently to the point of his speech, and 
having expressed his thanks, he continued : " I now come to 
the point of my speech, and a point is that which has no parts 
nor magnitude." Thereupon he sat down amidst a burst of 
applause at the cleverness with which he had avoided subjects 
which, if touched on, might have marred the harmony of the 
meeting. I can have few greater pleasures than to pay any 
tribute in my power to his memory. Of him it may be said 
that he truly " served his generation by the will of God." ' 

The scholarships gained by his pupils amounted in value 
to over ^10,000, his most successful pupil being Mr. 
J. S. Yeo, who was second wrangler in the year 1881 ; but it 
may be doubted if any school of the size ever obtained a larger 
number of Mathematical Scholarships. 

Mr. Duckworth was never a great athlete, as the term is 
now understood ; but he was a famous walker, and many old 
boys can recall the Sunday evening walks ' round Tidcombe,' 
'Exeter Hill,' and ' the deserted cottage,' journeys which, by 
the way, some boys accomplished in very short time by the 
simple process of walking round a piece of paper on which the 
name of the route had been written. A pleasant deceit that 
commended itself to the loafer. But Mr. Duckworth himself 
thought nothing of tramping from Tiverton to Barnstaple and 
back, taking, perhaps, a service on the way. On his Sabbath 
journey he would generally take one of his pupils with him, 
and on one occasion the boy remarked, ' I always like that 

197 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

sermon you preached this morning, sir.' ' What,' said Duck- 
worth, ' have you heard it before ? ' ' Oh yes ; three or four 
times,' replied the boy. ' You have too good a memory ; I 
shall not take you out again,' observed the master ; and he 
didn't — till next time. 

The proposal to remove the school from ' Old Blundell's ' 
to Horsdon met with strong opposition ; indeed, the town was 
divided on the matter into two camps as bitterly hostile to 
one another as at the time of the great law-suit some thirty- 
five years earlier. Mr. Duckworth had been in 1876 a 
candidate for the vacant Headmastership of Exeter Grammar 
School, a post which he just failed to obtain ; and, two years 
later, found himself unable to fall into line with the proposed 
removal of the school. Consequently he sent in his resigna- 
tion, which was accepted. It seemed good, however, to many 
leading men that his valuable services, extending over twenty- 
five years, ought not to go unrewarded, and he was publicly 
presented with a testimonial in January 1880. Viewed in the 
light of after events, some of Mr. Duckworth's words, in 
acknowledging the silver plate and the purse of 1 2 1 sovereigns, 
are very interesting : — 

' I cannot conceal from you that it is a great pain to me 
to refer to that incident in my life when it became necessary 
for me to resign that position which I had held for so many 
years. I do not mean to say that I ever regretted the step I 
took nine months ago, but I can never look back without 
emotion on those circumstances which necessitated my sever- 
ance from Blundell's. I had begun to look upon myself as 
much a fixture almost as the very benches and desks at which 
I had spent so many happy years. I was appointed assistant- 
master in 1853 at a salary of ^50 a year, free from income- 
tax. Very soon after my appointment rumours were afloat — 
and these, in a measure, became a reality — that a modified or 
improved scheme would soon be constituted ; that Blundell's 
would again become the star of the West ; that an era of pro- 
sperity would soon set in eclipsing in glory all the former years 
198 



ROBERT DUCKWORTH 

of the grand old school. Hoping against hope, we struggled 
on another year, and another year, and one year more ; and 
yet the realisation of our hopes seemed to get further off, and 
we appeared to be like sinking sailors trying to grasp the 
floating wreck which ever keeps away from them. Sometimes 
with a salary, sometimes with none, and sometimes with less 
than none, we passed on our way hoping for better days, and 
we hailed with delight anything likely to tend to our prosperity. 
My loyalty to Blundell's will not allow me to make more 
than general remarks on the subject of the circumstances 
which led me to sever my connection with it. Cabinet secrets 
are not to be made public property by those who desert the 
Cabinet. The numbers in Blundell's during the last few years 
had been diminishing. I had spent no less than ;^2oo in 
scholarships tenable at the school and otherwise in the hope 
of bringing Blundell's once more to the front. But all seemed 
in vain. Friends near and friends at a distance gave us no 
hope, or encouragement to hope, for better times in years to 
come. Added to this, our salaries, which must depend in 
some measure on our success, were not matters of certainty. 
All these circumstances caused me to consider most earnestly 
and reflect what I ought to do. That is really the question 
which a man must face in the course of his life. I considered 
the aspect of affairs so unpropitious that, though I had weathered 
many a storm, and passed through many a difiiculty in days 
gone by, I should not be justified, at my age, and with my 
family, in facing another which seemed to surpass all those 
which I had previously witnessed. 

' Accordingly, after due consideration and prayer, not in 
any moment of surprise, I resolved to resign my mastership. . . . 
Had I been equally young, and with as few cares as most of 
my colleagues, I might have taken my just share in passing 
through the stormy waves of the future, if I could have seen 
a clearly defined landing-place on the other side. But, under 
the circumstances, after solving a problem far more difficult 
than any I ever solved for a pupil, I resolved that it would 

199 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

not be right for me to trust my large family in the Great 
Eastern any longer, and therefore I determined to paddle my 
own canoe.' 

After residing in Tiverton till 1882 Mr. Duckworth trans- 
ferred his school to Weston-super-Mare, where his great 
reputation as a teacher of mathematics soon attracted pupils. 
Five years later, on 31st December, he died suddenly at 
Dawlish. It seems likely that the keenness with which he 
took up cycling — on one occasion he went from Land's End 
to John o' Groat's — was too great a strain for him, and aggra- 
vated the disease which proved so suddenly fatal. 

A character sketch by an old college friend may be of 
interest here : — ' He was a man of indomitable energy and 
singularly unaffected demeanour. At Cambridge none more 
athletic and cheery, but none more diligent or more absolutely 
free from guile. In after life it was just the same ; even 
casual acquaintances were always struck by the visible upright- 
ness of his mind, no less than by the ruddy health and strength 
of his frame.' And this is the impression left on the mind 
after reading the letters in which his old pupils have recalled 
their impressions of early days. A strong man, with his full 
share of North Country directness of speech, he put new life 
into the school by his energy and force of character ; and at 
the same time he raised the standard of mathematical teaching 
to a point hitherto unknown. In the conflict between two 
ideals, the classical and the modern, friction almost inevitably 
arose ; the pity is that when the difficulty settled itself, and in 
the new school, founded on a broader basis, room was found 
for a modern as well as a classical side, the man who had 
given the best years of his life to Blundell's was not there to 
enter into the reward of his labours. 



200 



THE WELLS FAMILY 

ABOUT the year 1740 Nathaniel Wells, clerk in Holy 
Orders, came to Devon from Oxford as a curate, 
and married Catherine Bury. Miss Bury was the 
niece and heiress of Elizabeth Fortescue, who owned Fallapit 
and the old Fortescue property in South Devon, including the 
advowson of East Allington, of which parish Nathaniel Wells 
became rector. 

Nathaniel Wells and his wife had five sons. The eldest 
possessed Fallapit, and took the name of Fortescue. It is 
not known whether he was at Blundell's, the supposition is 
that he was not, but at Eton ; he, however, was intimately 
connected with Tiverton, for he married Maria, daughter of 
Peter Blundell of Collipriest, the last male descendant of 
the Founder. 

All the other sons were educated at the school, but owing 
to the loss of the registers before 1770, the name of the 
youngest alone appears therein. The family were orphans, and 
were brought up by their aunt, Dorothy Bury. 

In addition to the Fallapit estate, the advowson of East 
Allington came to Edmund. This was accepted as a pro- 
vision for a second son, and seeing that it was a good living. 
Aunt Dorothy was minded that it should be well guarded. 
She therefore sent numbers two, three, and four into the 
Church. William went to Oriel, Nathaniel and Samuel to 
Wadham College. Nathaniel was a noted rider, and his 
tutor fell foul of him for neglecting study for hunting, 
telling him that he was more fitted for a colonel of cavalry 
than an undergraduate. Later, when curate of Morley, he 

201 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

and the churchwardens attended the archdeacon's visitation 
at Totnes, After dining they mounted their horses, the 
parson challenged the laymen to a race across country, and 
came in first. 

(It is believed that Nathaniel sent sons to Blundell's, but 
without the register this cannot be verified.) 

Samuel became Rector of East Portlemouth, and Duncombe 
Lecturer at Kingsbridge. He was an active county magistrate, 
and twice summoned armed forces to aid in keeping order. 
On one occ.ision a company of soldiers was requisitioned from 
Plymouth when rioting arose at the installation of the Union 
workhouse, and the coastguardsmen were mustered when the 
Swing Rioters destroyed the threshing machines and disturbed 
the neighbourhood. 

Thomas, No. 60 in the Register, was to be a lawyer and was 
sent to an attorney's office. He disliked the law and ran away 
from it. He obtained a commission in the 46th which was at 
that time a Devon regiment. Wells served in Ireland and 
died there in 1784. 

Thomas Bury, son of Samuel, No. 981 in the Register, 
entered Blundell's in 1806 and was there three years. These 
were days of short commons and hard living, such as Arch- 
bishop Temple referred to when he last visited Tiverton. 
The boys used to raid the poultry yards, and the farmers set 
a regular watch on Saints' Days. Wells and Phil Lardner 
angled for and caught a duck at the back of the school. It 
was quickly plucked and put in a pie before it was missed. 
An old woman, however, finding that her duck was missing, 
and hearing that Mother Dinham had made a duck pie for 
the boys, petitioned Dr. Richards, and swore to the duck. 
On this the boys were convicted and flogged. 

From the rough usage and fare of Blundell's, Tom Wells 
passed into an equally rough school, the Royal Navy. His 
first ship was the Nymphen^ his messmates a lot of ' Scots 
laddies,' who talked broad Scots and ridiculed him for his 
Devonshire tongue. He lost the dialect, but did not love the 
202 



THE WELLS FAMILY 

Scots method. The Nymphen was sent to blockade Flushing, 
and picked up a few prizes while thus employed. 

In 1816 as midshipman in the Granicus, Mr. Wells took 
part in the memorable battle of Algiers, when Lord Exmouth's 
combined fleet of English and Dutch battleships and frigates 
played such havoc on the forts that the Dey came to terms, 
and on the next day one thousand Christians held in slavery 
were liberated. 

The Granicus, a 34-gun frigate, took a position among the 
ships of the line. She was anchored within musket shot of 
the batteries for six hours, and twice during the fight Wells 
was sent in the jolly boat to other ships. The Gr aniens had 
16 killed and 42 wounded out of a complement of about 300 
officers and men. 

Captain Wise gave written testimony of the extreme 
gallantry of Wells's conduct throughout the action, which 
certificate is a highly prized heirloom. In 1834 Tom Wells 
took his degrees from Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and, in 1839, 
succeeded his father as Rector of Portlemouth, where he died 
in 1879. 

Father and son together held the living eighty-eight years. 
To the last he took a great interest in his old school, and was 
a frequent attendant on Old Boys' Day, when he was often 
called upon to respond for the navy. He was there a year 
before his death, aged eighty-three. 

Four of T. B. Wells's sons followed him to Blundell's, and 
have handed down pleasant reminiscences of the school in the 
fifties of last century. One of them boarded at the ' Island ' 
with Parson Pole, Rector of Templeton, a noted cricketer ; 
who, when at Oxford, played in the first match against 
Cambridge at Lords in 1827, when Oxford made 258 to 
Cambridge's 92. In those days Mr. Pole was a valuable 
addition to the cricketers, who strove to keep the game alive 
amid the limes of the old playground. 

Jack Lloyd was then (1858) head of the school and 
captain of the cricket club. He proved the harbinger of 

203 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

many civil servants in the East who were educated at 
BlundelFs. When Lloyd went to Balliol College a Wells 
succeeded him as captain of cricket and football. In those 
days punting was the fashion, and Wells was the first to 
introduce the drop-kick, and to alter the game from kick- 
ing and dribbling to a modified style of Rugby football, as 
played in later days. 

In i860 the annual May Day games, or athletic sports as 
they would now be called, were revived, after having been 
dropped for several years. In those days the boys mustered 
at or soon after dawn on the 29th May, and raided the neigh- 
bouring coppices and hedgero\^ s for oak. The upper school 
was made into a grove ; in the shelter of oak leaves, the 
boys listened to and made fun of the individual who happened 
to be speaking. All the upper school boys, in turn, had to 
stand in the centre of the school and recite from some Eng- 
lish author. This was the occasion for much merriment 
during the morning. The games were held in the afternoon. 
Wells got the school eleven into trim, and they played matches 
against the Culm Vale and the Rev. C. Bere's Eleven as 
well as against the town. This was the earliest recognised 
School Eleven. 

Lewis Fortescue Wells was at Blundell's from 1 858 to 1 860 
and was one of Mr. Duckworth's early boarders. He then 
joined the Royal navy, and, as midshipman, landed in Mexico 
at the time the ill-fated Maximilian went there. In 1863 he 
was fighting our present allies the Japanese at Kagosima, and 
next year at Simonosaki. As lieutenant of the Volage^ one 
of the smartest ships of the second flying squadron, he so 
enhanced his reputation that, at twenty-six years of age, 
he was appointed first lieutenant of the Barracouta^ 1873. 
In the Bay of Biscay a man fell overboard forward. Wells 
was on duty aft. He gave orders for rounding up the ship, 
threw off his coat, and, jumping into the sea, as the man 
drifted past, took him a lifebuoy, and the man was saved. For 
this Wells received the medal of the Royal Humane Society. 
204 



THE WELLS FAMILY 

Although fitted out for Australia, it fell to this ship to take 
Captain Festing and 150 marines to Cape Coast Castle, where 
the Ashantees were raiding vigorously, and we had suffered 
severely. At Elmina, on his own responsibility, he led 50 
seamen and marines on to the flank of 7000 natives. Conceal- 
ing his approach, he lined a hedge within twenty yards of the 
enemy, when he opened fire ; and, to use his own words, 
' Snider did bite.' This cowed the enemy and decided the 
victory. He was thanked for his services by the officer in 
command on the field, and is mentioned by Lord Wolseley in 
his Stories of a Soldier s Life, who, after a lapse of thirty years, 
still recollected Wells's gallant conduct. Four months later 
he defended the position of Abrakrampa, the first stage on the 
way to Coomassie. 

His conduct at Elmina was made known to the Prince of 
Wales, who graciously interested himself in Wells's career, and 
he was appointed lieutenant on the Queen's yacht, Victoria and 
Albert. Alas ! he did not live to take up his commission. 
Wells embarked on a mail steamer, homeward bound, which 
previously had cases of yellow fever on board. This fact was 
concealed. He sickened with fever and died within a week, 
regretted by all who had known him or heard of his gallant 
conduct. Sir Henry Brackenbury referred to him in his history 
of the war in the following terms : — 

' By his death one of the finest, handsomest, and bravest 
officers that ever lived was thus lost to Her Majesty's navy.' 

Henry Lake Wells was at Folland's with his elder brother 
Lionel. He was not great at cricket, but, under the tuition 
of the popular writing-master, Mr. William Folland, fostered 
by the kindly rule of the Exe, which made Blundell's boys 
free of the preserved waters, he became a devoted and expert 
fisherman. He followed the sport in Kashmir, as well as in 
Mazanderan, and other parts of Persia. He matured late. 
When he left Blundell's for King's College, London, no 
one expected that he would show the way to Woolwich 
Academy to a new generation of Blundellians. He passed in 

205 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

2 1 St, passed out 5th, and got his commission as Lieutenant 
in the Royal Engineers in 1871. After four years' ser- 
vice in England, he went to India ; and when Lieutenant 
Hewson was assassinated at Quetta, he succeeded to the work 
of fortifying the post and providing cantonments in view of 
an advance into Afghanistan. 

Wells saw active service both in the campaigns of 1878-79 
and 1879-80. Wells's road over the Kojuck Pass was made 
for the passage of our artillery. At the head of a few horse 
Wells had a hand-to-hand encounter with a dozen freebooters 
who stood their ground gallantly. The native horsemen 
pulled up and left him to do the fighting as best he could. 
General Sir Donald Stewart recommended him ' for con- 
spicuous gallantry and bravery displayed on this occasion.' 
He was engaged again at Baghao on the return march, 
also at Mazina. On each of these occasions he was 
mentioned in despatches, as well as for his work on the 
Kojuck road, and for bridging the Cabul River with pon- 
toons, which he conveyed from Peshawur along the Khyber 
Pass. He thus scored five times in two short campaigns, 
and in this was unequalled by any other person engaged 
therein. In the intervals between the Afghan campaigns. 
Wells surveyed routes in Kashmir for a telegraph line to 
Gilgit, and in 1880 was appointed assistant-director of the 
Indo-European telegraph at Teheran. This line was laid 
through Persia by Royal Engineers immediately after the 
suppression of the Indian Mutiny, and remains in the hands 
of the Indian Government. 

During the years spent in Persia, Wells surveyed routes 
between Dizful and Shiraz and for the opening up of the 
Karum River for traffic ; he contributed papers to the Royal 
Geographical Society, the Society of Arts, and other learned 
societies, as well as to the professional papers of his own 
corps. He was repeatedly thanked for services, especially for 
those rendered in the delimitation of the Afghan frontier in 
1886, the army remount operations for India in 1887, in the 
206 



THE WELLS FAMILY 

cholera epidemic in 1892, when, owing to his forethought and 
skilful arrangements, the telegraph department sustained a 
loss of only one European and three of the Native Staff. At 
this time 18,000 Persians and 28 Europeans died at Teheran. 

Wells became director of the Persian telegraph in 1891, 
and was successively major and lieutenant-colonel of Royal 
Engineers. He was presented by the late Shah Nasr-ud-Din 
with a sword of honour, and by the present Shah with a 
diamond ring. In 1897 he was made a Commander of the 
Indian Empire, and on the 13th July attended at Windsor, 
when Queen Victoria herself pinned the decoration on his 
breast. This was the first and last time he ever saw the 
Queen, whose commission he had held with distinction for 
twenty-seven years. 

He died at Karachi, August 31, 1898, having, on the 
first of the month, taken over the appointment of director 
of telegraphs from Karachi to Bushire. Wells was a keen 
sportsman and good polo player. 

In an active life he found time also for the use of the pen. 
Many papers of his on scientific and engineering subjects for 
the Government, and for the Royal Geographical Society (of 
which he was a Fellow) have been highly praised. The Army 
and Navy Gazette spoke of ' the loss of this distinguished officer 
as greatly to be deplored, for a bright future seemed before 
him after all the good work he had done ' ; and the Sind 
Gazette referred to him as an ' officer of exceptional ability and 
steadfastness of purpose, whose untimely death cast quite a 
gloom over the station.' He was also, in the words of Lord 
Curzon, the Viceroy of India, *a gallant, chivalrous, and fear- 
less Englishman, with the honour of the country and his own 
duty ever before his eyes.' 



207 



THOMAS UTTERMORE CROSS 

OF all the worthies who have left old Blundell's and its 
lime-trees behind them, none will be more easily- 
recalled to the minds of Old Boys than the Rev. 
Thomas Uttermore Cross, or ' Tory ' Cross, as he was called 
by his schoolfellows, friends, and family. This nickname, 
which was started in his boyhood, clung to him to the end of 
his life. He was the son of the Rev. Joseph Cross, M.A., 
of Merriott, Somerset, minor canon of Bristol Cathedral, and 
was born in the year 1851. He entered Blundell's on the 5th 
of February 1866, becoming a boarder at the house of the Rev. 
R, Duckworth, then mathematical master at the school. He 
quickly gained Mr. Duckworth's confidence and regard by his 
integrity and straightforward conduct ; and the capacity for 
organisation, which became so strongly developed in his after 
career, had already begun to blossom at this early date. 

On leaving Blundell's in September 1869, having won the 
Gilberd scholarship, he matriculated at Exeter College, Oxford. 
He had no pretensions to the name of an extensive scholar ; 
but, at the University, he steadily acquired knowledge, and 
keenly entered into physical as well as mental training. 

He originated one of the periodical revolts at the college 
against the quality of food supplied ; and, according to his 
own account, he and his followers came oft victorious. He 
was in his college eight ; and further, owing to his exertions, 
money was procured for the purchase of a new college 
barge, in the interior of which his name may still be seen. 
In the year 1873 ^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^•^- degree, and his M.A. in 
1876. After he left Oxford he went to Wellington College 
as assistant master to the Rev. T. W. Spurling, M.A. 
208 




Thomas Uttermore Cross. 



THOMAS UTTERMORE CROSS 

In 1875 he accepted the offer of a mastership at 
Blundell's, which was made him by Mr. Augustus L. Francis, 
M.A., the Headmaster, who had been strongly impressed by 
the eagerness and ardent interest with which Mr. Cross threw 
himself into the projects for the resuscitation of the 'Old 
Boys' Day ' commemoration. 

At that time Blundell's was not so flourishing and pro- 
sperous as it is at present, or as it had been in the remote past, 
for it was passing through the difiiculties and drawbacks 
which invariably accompany a period of transition. The 
old fabric on Lowman Green had been condemned as 
insanitary and insufficient, and yet the proposal to erect new 
premises on the Horsdon site was received with vigorous 
opposition from many friends and old pupils, so that several 
years passed before the change to new quarters was finally 
carried out. 

Mr. Cross was appointed house-master in 1879, ^^^ even 
before the new school buildings were completely finished he 
built the first of the boarding-houses which now surround 
them. His confidence in the future success of the school was 
so unwavering that he gave to his new dwelling the name of 
* Old House,' in the firm conviction that it was only the fore- 
runner of many others which would follow in the course of 
time. 

Every project connected with the place was supported 
by Mr. Cross with the greatest liberality. The fives courts, 
swimming-bath, and cricket pavilion all received encourage- 
ment and help, and it was greatly owing to his initiative and 
perseverance that the fund was started for the erection of a 
chapel in the grounds adjoining the school. 

The chapel was completed in the year 1883, the opening 
ceremony taking place in June. The cost of the building 
amounted to nearly ^3000, and this sum was collected in 
great measure by the energy of Mr. Cross, who never ceased 
working for it until the debt was entirely cleared ofl^. Across 
the top of the panelling on the west wall, extending in one 

o 209 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

line, is the brass on which runs the inscription : ' To the glory 
of God, and in pious memory of Peter Blundell, this chapel 
was consecrated, June 29, 1883.' 

This brass was given to the chapel by Mr. Cross, who had 
been Blundell' s exhibitioner in 1869. He had entered Holy 
Orders in 1876, and was ordained priest in the following year 
by the Bishop of Exeter, receiving his title from the Rector 
of Washfield, the Rev. W. Lloyd Jones. He was appointed 
chaplain to the school on the completion of the chapel. On 
the 13th of November 1889, the anniversary of the birth of 
the great philanthropist, Edward Colston, Mr. Cross preached 
the sermon to the Grateful Society at All Saints' Church, 
Bristol, taking for his text the 23rd verse of the 12th chapter 
of Hebrews : ' The spirits of just men made perfect.' He 
was also present at the banquet held in the evening at the 
Montagu Hotel, when the chair was taken by his brother, 
Frank Richardson Cross, President for the year of the 
Society. 

The compilation of an English verse book from the works 
of our most popular poets was a labour to which Mr. Cross 
devoted much time and thought. The work is intended chiefly 
for the use of boys, for repetition, and the pieces are classified 
according to difficulty, arranged into four different parts for 
the use of four different forms, each succeeding part being 
more difficult than the last. A friend of Mr. Cross remarks, 
' The selection is marked by Cross's chief charm and character- 
istics — practical and sound judgment, clear perception of the 
ways of boys.' This book has been so highly thought of as an 
educational aid, and has attained so wide a circulation, that it 
has run into the fourth edition, and is used in many of the 
public schools. 

' As a teacher,' says one of his colleagues and friends, ' he 
was strict, very clear, and most unbending ; a firm believer in 
a stern and manual inculcation of Latin grammar and arith- 
metic (he would often cane half a dozen boys in an hour). 
His arithmetic teaching brought out really astonishing results ; 
210 



THOMAS UTTERMORE CROSS 

the completeness and accuracy shown by most pupils In follow- 
ing (somewhat blindly) the rules inculcated were such as I have 
never seen equalled. Theory of all sorts he disregarded with 
the practical Englishman's complete contempt.' 

The Blundellian, as the school magazine is named, was 
established by Mr. Cross ; in order to avoid any risk of 
its being a financial failure he made the Library responsible 
for all expenses, and thus placed it on a firm footing. To a 
colleague 'who dismally declared he would eat every number 
after the third,' he long sent successive numbers with best 
wishes for a good appetite. 

Mr. Cross's interest and sympathy were in no way confined 
to the limits of Blundell's. He was always ready to assist in 
any movement for promoting the welfare of the town, and his 
influence did much to increase and cement the good feeling 
between the school and Tiverton. He was elected Chairman 
of the Technical Schools of Art and Science in 1 891, on the 
retirement of the Rev. George Hadow, having acted on 
the Committee almost from its commencement, and he was 
President for seven years of the Tiverton Youths' Institute, 
Governor of the Middle Schools, and one of the Committee of 
Management of the National Schools. Through his instiga- 
tion and liberality the Oxford Extension Lectures were started 
in Tiverton, and for many years were continued with unabated 
interest and success. 

Mr. Cross was married on the 26th July 1883, at St. Peter's 
Church, to Isabella Georgina Hadow, youngest daugher of the 
Rev. George Hadow, then Rector of the Tidcombe portion of 
the Tiverton parish. 

In 1888 Blundell's School Chapel was enriched by a font 
made of Caen stone, with the inscription in old English 
characters ' Cruce Luce, Deo Duce.' This font was used for 
the first time at the christening of the infant daughter of the 
Rev. T. U. and Mrs. Cross. 

In the spring of 1892 Mr. Cross began to show signs of 
failing health, and finally broke down under the stress of work 

211 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

which he had taken on himself in addition to his responsible 
position at the school. He was persuaded to spend some 
months abroad in the hope that a few months' change and rest 
might restore him to his usual strength and spirits ; but to the 
great disappointment of all who cared for him, he returned 
home in the month of September, having obtained Uttle apparent 
benefit from his travels. 

From this time he declined daily, so by the advice of 
several specialists he started on a journey to Madeira. 
He did not live to reach his destination, for to the inexpres- 
sible grief and sorrow of his family and friends the news 
was telegraphed home to England that he had died on the 
voyage. . . . 

No man was ever a better or firmer friend, no colleague 
ever more loyal ; but no words of mine could so well con- 
vey an estimate of his character, or the loving esteem he 
had earned for himself, than the following which I have 
copied from the address of the Headmaster to the scholars of 
Blundell's, on announcing to them the intelligence of his 
decease : — 

' You have all no doubt heard with profound regret the 
startling and distressing news of the death of Mr. Cross. 
Assembled as we are within this sacred building, so closely 
associated with his memory, for the first time since the sad 
tidings reached us, it is fitting that I should give expression 
in a few words to the feeling which must be in all our hearts, 
a feeling of an irreparable loss sustained by all who are 
attached to the school. This is not the time to dwell in 
detail on the many services rendered by Mr. Cross to his 
old school, the more so as you heard last Sunday a just and 
eloquent tribute paid to his devotion. It is enough to say 
that for the last seventeen years Mr. Cross gave all his 
energies ungrudgingly to the furtherance of the best interests 
of the school, while there is probably not one of all our 
societies and institutions which does not stand indebted to 
his open-handed generosity.' . . . 
212 



THOMAS UTTERMORE CROSS 

After referring to other losses which had occurred within 
a very short time, Mr. Francis continued : — ' But perhaps 
saddest and most pathetic of all is the sight of the strong, 
vigorous man struck down and withered in his prime by an 
unseen blow, while friends stand helpless by, and cannot 
reach a hand to save him. 

' The lesson, the solemn warning, is written clear for all to 
read. Use your strength, as he used it, while you may, as a 
trust from God in his service, for you cannot tell what day or 
what hour you may be called upon to surrender your trust 
and to give an account of your stewardship. 

' And if I might say a word more especially to the members 
of the House which will long be associated with his honoured 
name, it would be briefly this, you by your traditions and 
by the very memorials with which Mr. Cross loved to sur- 
round himself, are very closely bound up with the part of 
the school. Under the hospitable roof of the Old House 
have taken place many of the cheery gatherings which have 
served to knit together the older and younger generations 
of Blundellians. As you love the school and as you rev- 
erence the memory of the founder of your House, I beg 
you to ask yourselves how best under changed conditions 
you can show forth that love, that reverence in action. The 
best house, the ideal house, the mainstay of the school would 
not be that which should show the most challenge cups or 
prizes won in work or games, but the one whose members 
— be their numbers small or great — should unite together in 
hearty, loyal, and rational obedience to law and duty, in the 
fear of God. This were indeed an honourable rivalry and 
worthy of a great school. 

' But last Sunday, only five short days ago, we joined, and 
it will be a pleasant memory to recall how heartily the school 
joined, in the prayer that our eternal Father would ^ be 
pleased in his mercy to save our brother, whom we had just 
bidden farewell, from the perils of the sea. And even as we 
sang, a sorrowful foreboding came over us and others, I 

213 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 

think, in the congregation, and Tennyson's words were 
haunting me : — 

'< Oh ! mother, praying God will save 
Thy sailor ; while thy head is bowed, 
His heavy-shotted hammock shroud 
Drops in his vast and wandering grave." 

' When the terrible news of yesterday arrived, these lines 
flashed back to me. And indeed, at first sight the contrast 
between our fond hopes and the sad reality seems bitter 
enough. But only at first sight. A moment's thought will 
banish doubt and rebuke our want of faith. Indeed, God 
has heard our prayer, and in His infinite compassion has 
answered it. 

' There are tempests more cruel than those of the Atlantic. 
There is the storm that racks the weary, sleepless brain ; there 
are the waves, the thousand shocks of daily suffering that 
beat pitilessly on a poor body wasted and enfeebled by sick- 
ness. With these storms, these deep waters of affliction, he 
who has been taken from us has struggled sore. And now 
our prayer is heard. God has delivered him. He has 
crossed the bar, and passed to where beyond these voices there 
is peace : peace, perfect peace, in the haven where he would 
be.' 

Various meetings were held after his death with the view 
to the erection of a memorial in remembrance of him, and 
the suggestion that the most suitable and respectful tribute 
which could be paid to his memory should take the form 
of some improvement or addition to the School chapel was 
warmly received, and it was unanimously agreed that this 
addition should be in the form of a spire. A subscription 
list was opened, and received a liberal and hearty response 
from Old Blundellians, friends, and the many inhabitants in 
the town and country who remembered his generous help 
and sympathy, his kindly manner and loyal friendship. 

The chapel spire being finished, its dedication was fixed 
for the 28th of June 1894, when a short form of service 
214 



THOMAS UTTERMORE CROSS 

especially drawn up by the chaplain, the Rev. Percy Hunt, 
was held on the lawn adjoining the school. 

A pulpit carved in oak was also presented to the chapel 
in memory of Mr. Cross by the then present members of 
the school. It stands on a richly moulded oak base, on 
which is placed a memorial plate with the following inscription : 
' To the glory of God and in affectionate remembrance of 
the Rev. T. U. Cross, M.A., first chaplain of Blundell's. 
This pulpit was erected by the present members of the school 
October 8th, 1893.' 

The Cross memorial was afterwards finally completed by 
the placing of a targe over the inner door of the main 
entrance. 

And now, in closing these short memoirs, I will only call 
to the minds of those who may have read them, four lines of 
some verses which were dedicated to his memory : — 

* He has crossed the bar ! Oh let us strive 
To follow the path he trod, 
With a word for the weary, a smile for the glad, 
And a simple trust in God.' 



215 



INDEX 



AcKLAND, Baldwin, 35. 
Acland, Sir Thomas, 174. 
Annesley, Susanna, 40. 
Atherton, Philip, 77, 82, 89. 
Atkins, Henry, 78. 
Atterbury, Bishop, 42. 
Aubrey, John, i, 5, 6, 9, 12. 

Bacon, Lord, 8. 

Balle, Sir Peter, 16. 

Bamfylde, Hugh, 58. 

Basset, Colonel, 27. 

Beadon, Richard, 84 ; enters Bhindell's, 
84 ; St. John's College, Cambridge, 84 ; 
college distinctions, 85 ; Archdeacon of 
London, 85 ; Master of Jesus College, 
Cambridge, 85 ; Bishop of Gloucester, 
86; of Bath and Weils, 87; his portrait, 86. 

Robert, 84. 

Bennet, George, 119, 120. 

Berkeley, Sir John, 19. 

Berry, Miss, 42. 

Blackburne, Archbishop, 71. 

Blackmore, John, 154, 155, 171. 

Richard Doddridge, 153 ; his Lorna 

Doone, 153, 156; birth, 154; enters 
Blundell's, 154; goes to Exeter College, 
156 ; called to the Bar, 156 ; his Clara 
Vaiighan, 156; Cradock Nowell, 156; 
other works, 159. 

Blundell, Maria, 201. 

Peter, supposed portrait, I ; extracts 

from his will, 2. 

Blundell'sSchool, first Headmaster, ii, 15 ; 
fire at, 23 ; the ' Eton of the West,' 149 ; 
in 1864-71, 196; chapel, 209. 

Bhtndellian, the, 211. 

Boulton, Anthony, 77, 132. 

Antonia, 132. 

Bourne, Vincent, 44. 

Bradninch, 16. 

Bradshaw, Bishop, 53. 



Bull, George, 33 ; origin and education, 
33 ; ordination, 34 ; Vicar of St. 
George's, Bristol, 36 ; of Suddington 
St. ]\Iary, and St. Peter, 36 ; his Har- 
monia and Defensio, 37 ; Archdeacon of 
Llandafif, 37 ; D.D,, 38; \ns Judicium 
Eccksia, 38 ; Bishop of St. David's, 38. 

William, 33. 

Bulteel, John Crocker, 122. 

Burton, Henry, 12. 

Bury, Catherine, 201. 

Dorothy, 201. 

John, 10. 

Penelope Incledon, 125. 

Butler, Samuel, 15, 34. 

Camden, William, 9, 10. 

Campbell, Lord, 13. 

Carew, Bamfylde Moore, 57, 78 ; at 
Blundell's, 58 ; joins the gypsies, 59 ; 
his facility of disguise, 59 ; marriage, 
60; elected king of the gypsies, 61; 
transportation, escape, and return, 62 ; 
hoax on excise officers, 63 ; retirement, 
65 ; his Life and Adventures, 66. 

John West, 32. 

Theodore, 58. 

Tom, 126. 

Sir Walter, 125. 

Cary, Squire, 63. 

Chaderton, Dr., 11. 

Charles I. at Bradninch, 19. 

Chesney, Sir Charles Cornwallis, 132, 135 ; 
goes to Woolwich, 134 ; Professor of 
"Military History at Sandhurst, 134; his 
Waterloo Letters, 134 ; on Royal Mili- 
tary Education Commission, 135; death, 
136 ; his works, 137. 

Sir George Tomkyns, 132, 138 ; 

author of the Battle of Dorking, 138. 

Cholmley, Hugh, 11, 12, 12 «., 15. 

Codrington, John, 123. 

217 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 



Coke, Sir Edward, 8, 9. 

Colby, Thomas, 107 ; at Blundell's, 107 ; 
joins the navy, 107 ; life and distinctions 
at sea, 108 ; at Trafalgar, 114 ; marriage, 
117; Mayor of Torrington, 117; Com- 
mander of Greenwich Hospital, 118; 
death, 118. 

Coleman, Thomas, 58. 

Coleridge, Lord Chief-Justice, i. 

Cony beare, John, 51 ; Fellow of Exeter Col- 
lege, 51; ordained, 51; fame as a preacher, 
52 ; Rector of Exeter College, 52 ; his 
Defence of Religion, 52 ; Dean of Christ- 
Church, 53 ; Bishop of Bristol, 54 ; 
popularity as a preacher, 54 ; attitude 
towards Dissenters, 55. 

Copleston, Provost, 100, 100 «., 1 01. 

Cornwall, Earl of Essex in, 20. 

Cross, Thomas Uttermore, 208 ; enters 
Blundell's, 208 ; goes to Exeter College, 
208 ; to WeUington College, 208 ; Mas- 
ter at Blundell's, 209 ; marriage, 211 ; 
death, 212; memorial pulpit, 215. 

Culpepper, Nicholas, 28. 

Culmstock, the Blackmores at, 154, 155. 

Daddo, William, 89, 103, 103 n. 

Darell, William, 8. 

Davey, John, 84, 102; enters Blundell's, 
102 ; Rector of Brattleby, Fillingham, 
and Great Wolston, 103 ; Vicar of 
Bledlow, 103 ; Master of Balliol, 103 ; 
death, 106. 

Devon, Earl of Essex in, 19. 

Dicken, Aldersey, 150, 174. 

Disraeli, B., plagiarism by, 143. 

Doddridge, Philip, 154. 

Donne, Dr. John, 9, 

Drury, Sir Drew, 9. 

Duckworth, Robert, 195. 

Dunsford, Eliza, 92. 

G. L., 96 n. 

Martin, 89 ; enters Blundell's, 

89 ; enters his father's business, 89 ; 
visits Holland, 90 ; marriage and death 
of wife, 92 ; enters public life, 92 ; his 
Histo}y of Tiverton, 45, 93 ; second 
marriage and death, 96. 

Eastchurch, Mr., 63. 
Ellesmere, Lord Keeper, 7. 
Escott, John, 58, 60. 

Essex, Earl of, in Devon and Cornwall, 
19, 20. 

218 



Eveleigh, John, 97 ; enters Blundell's, 97; 
at Wadham, 97 ; Fellow, Treasurer, 
Dean, and Provost of Oriel College, 97 ; 
Bampton Lecturer, 97 ; Canon of 
Rochester, 98 ; Rector of Purleigh, 98 ; 
originator of Honours system, 99 ; bene- 
factor to Oriel, loo ; reminiscences of, 
100. 

Fawkes, Guy, conspiracy, 7. 

Finch, Heneage, 37. 

Fires at Tiverton, 23, 82. 

Folland, William, 205. 

Fortescue, Elizabeth, 201. 

Froude, Rev. John, 'Jack,' 119, 124. 

Fulford, Francis, 129 ; enters Blundell's, 
129; matriculates at Exeter College, 
129; Curate of Holne, 129; Rector of 
Trowbridge, 129; of Croydon, 129; 
Minister of Curzon Chapel, 129; 
Domestic Chaplain to Duchess of 
Gloucester, 130; Bishop of Montreal, 



Garnet, Henry, 7, 
Gilbert, Humphrey, 3. 

Raleigh, 3, 4. 

Goadby, Richard, 66. 
Gorges, Ferdinando, 4. 
Gosnold, Bartholomew, 5. 
Gregory, Bridget, 36. 
Gray, Miss, 60. 

Hadow, Isabella Georgina, 211. 

Hakluyt, Richard, 5. 

Hall, George, 12. 

Joseph, 2, II, 12, 15. 

Nicholas, 12. 

Robert, 12. 

Samuel, 12. 

Hanham, Captain Thomas, 3, 4. 

Harding, R., 51. 

Harding's Histoiy of Tiverton, 106. 

Hatherley, Lord, 77. 

Hayter, Thomas, 53, 69, 70, 87 n. ; at 
Blundell's, 70; at Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, 70 ; Prebendary of York, 70 ; 
sub-dean, 71 ; Prebendary of West- 
minster, 71 ; Archdeacon of York, 71 ; 
Bishop of Norwich, 71 ; tutor to Prin- 
cess of Wales's family, 71 ; Bishop of 
London, 75 ; death, 75. 

Hayward, Abraham, 140; enters Blun- 
dell's, 140; articled to a solicitor, 141 ; 
student of Inner Temple, 141 ; satirised, 



INDEX 



142 ; exposes Disraeli, 143 ; made Q.C., 
145 ; enters politics, 145 ; writes for the 
Quarterly, 147 ; death, 149. 

Heanton Punchardon, 27. 

Hoadly, Bishop, 75. 

Hopton, Sir Ralph, 19. 

Hughes,;. B., 77- 

Incledon, Benjamin, 13. 

Robert, 61. 

Robert Newton, 14. 

Jeremie, James Amiraux, 150; enters 
Blundell's, 150; Prebendary of Lincoln, 
152; Rector of Warwick, 151; Dean of 
Haileybury, 152; Regius Professor, 152. 

Jones, W. Lloyd, 210. 

Junius Letters, 147. 

Keats, Philip, 82. 
Ken, Bishop, 51. 
Knyght, William, 77. 

Laroche, Mr., 80. 

Leithbridge, Justice, 61. 

Lewis, Miss, 83. 

Ley, John, 150. 

Library of Lord Leigh presented to Oriel, 

100. 
Little Silver, Tiverton, 26. 
Littlecote Legend, the, 8. 
Lloyd, 'Jack,' 200. 
London and Plymouth New England 

Companies, 3. 
Lyndhurst, Lord, joke by, 145. 

Mallock, Squire, 63. 
Monteagle, William Parker, Lord, 3. 
Moonwort superstition, 28. 
Moore, Major, 58. 

Hannah, 163. 

IMostyn, Sir Thomas, 123. 

Nelson, Robert, 33. 

New England, expedition to, 4. 

Newport, Christopher, 5. 

Newte, John, 24, 29, 31, 32, 103 «.; 

published sermons by, 29-30 ; portrait 

of, 30, 30 n. 

Henry, 23, 24, 25, 32. 

Peter, 30, 32. 

Richard, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32 ; 

persecutions and sufferings, 25 ; restored 

to his rectory, 29. 
Samuel, 24, 31, 32. 



Newte, Thomas, 31, 32. 
Newte's Hill, 23, 28. 

Ottery St. Mary, 26. 
Oxford, University life at, 104. 

Parker, Dorothy, 16. 

William, 3. 

Patch, Clause, 61, 65. 

Pickard-Cambridge, Edward, 155. 

Pierce, George, 27, 29. 

Plague at Tiverton, 26. 

Plymouth and London New England Com- 
panies, 3, 13. 

Popham, Edward, 3 «., 4. 

Sir Francis, 12, 13. 

George, 3, 4. 

Sir John, i, 15, 34; his portrait, I, 

13 ; suppression of vagrancy, 5, 9 ; as 
speaker, 6 ; Attorney-General, 6 ; Yx\\y 
Councillor, 6 ; Lord Chief-Justice, 7, 
his character as a judge, 9. 

Penelope, 3. 

Price, Thomas, 66. 

Pym, John, 16. 

Radford, 'Jack,' 120. 

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 3, 7. 

Rayner, Rev. W., 58. 

Richards, Dr., 122, 140, 151 ; his por- 
trait, 141. 

Russell, John, 119, 141; at Plympton 
Grammar School, 122 ; enters Blun- 
dell's, 122; at Oxford, 124; Curate of 
Bishop's Nympton, 124; marriage, 125; 
visits Sandringham, 127; at Old Boys' 
Meeting, 127. 

■ sen., 122. 

Sagadahoc Colony, New England, 4, 
4 n. 

St. George's Church, Tiverton, 30. 

Sainthill, Peter, 15; and the Civil War, 
17 ; Recorder of Bradninch, 17 ; member 
for Tiverton, 17 ; Puritan satire on, 20; 
estates sequestrated, 21 ; death at Leg- 
horn, 22. 

Robert, 21. 

Samuel, 21. 

Sanders, Rev. Henry, 132, 176. 

Seeker, Bishop, 53. 

Sheckell, Maria, 96. 

Skinner, Bishop, 36. 

Smith, John, 5. 

Southey, Robert, 105. 

219 



BLUNDELL'S WORTHIES 



Spratt, Dr., 41. 

Sprigge, Joshua, 28. 

Squire, Rev. S. , 84. 

Stag-hunting, 126. 

Stawell, W. B., 124. 

Sunday Schools, estabhshment of, 96. 

Symonds, Richard, 28. 

Temple, Frederick, 87 ;/., 133, 155, 169; 
enters Blundell's, 172; gains Scholar- 
ship at Balliol, 174; Headmaster of 
Rugby, 176 ; Essays and Reviews, 
178; Bishop of Exeter, 178; of Lon- 
don, 180; last visit to Blundell's, 188; 
Archbishop of Canterbury, 190 ; death, 

193- 

Rev. William, 170. 

Templer, Mr., 125. 

Thomas, William, 36. 

Thomson, James, 44. 

Ticknor, George, 66. 

Tidcombe Portion, 24, 29. 

Tiverton, 16 ; fires at, 23, 82 ; ecclesiasti- 
cal Constitution of, 24 ; plague at, 26 ; 
Civil War in, 27. 

Trelawney, Sir Jonathan, 51. 

Charles, 125. 

Trevelyan, Sir Charles Edward, 161 ; 
enters Blundell's, 161 ; goes to Charter- 
house and to Haileybury, 161 ; enters 
E. I. service, 161 ; at Delhi, 162 ; 
marriage, 163 ; his services in England, 
164 ; reforms in the Civil Service, 165 ; 
Governor of Madras, 166 ; recalled, 
167; Finance Minister for India, 167; 
abolition of Army Purchase system, 168. 

Rev. George, 161. 

- Sir John, 161. 

Troyte, Dr., 124. 



ViOLL, Ann, 92. 

Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, 25. 

Walpole, Horace, 71. 

Warburton, Bishop, 53. 

Wellington, Popham Almshouses at, 13. 

Wells, Edmund, 21. 

Henry Lake, 205. 

Lewis Fortescue, 204. 

Lionel, 205. 

Nathaniel, 201. 

Samuel, 201, 202, 

Thomas, 202, 203. 

Thomas Bury, 202. 

William, 201. 

Were, John, 19, 20. 

Wesley, Charles, 43, 45, 49, 50. 

John, 41, 43. 44, 48, 49, 5°- 

Samuel, 40 ; enters Christ Church, 

Oxford, 42 ; devotion to Atterbury, 42 ; 
marriage, 42 ; Usher at Westminster 
School, 42 ; Headmaster of Blundell's, 
44 ; his views of Methodism, 48 ; 
death, 50. 

Whitaker, 'Jack,' 120. 

White, Gilbert, 97 n. 

Wood, Sir Evelyn, 77. 

Sir Matthew, 78. 

Thomas, 77 ; Headmaster of Blun- 
dell's, 78 ; Curate of Cadbury, 78 ; 
Rector of Poughill, 78 ; his sociality, 
79 ; his charitableness, 82 ; marriage, 
83 ; Domestic Chaplain to Earl Talbot, 
83- 

Yeatman, Henry Farr, 121. 
Yeo, J. S., 197- 

Zingra, Spanish Ambassador, 4. 



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